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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

A look at one of the key Senate races: Sen. Mitch McConnell vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes.

A look at one of the key Senate races: Sen. Mitch McConnell vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes.

January 21st, 2014
06:05 PM ET

Could Kennedy's critique of dolphin hunt hurt relations with Japan?

(CNN) - U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy stirred up controversy after expressing her "concern" over the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan.

Now, the Japanese government is firing back.

"Dolphin fishing is one of the traditional fishing forms of our country and is carried out appropriately in accordance with the law," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Kennedy took to Twitter last week, saying she was "deeply concerned by the inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing."

"We have fishermen in our community and they are exercising their fishing rights. We feel that we need to protect our residents against the criticisms," said Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen.

Could Ambassador Kennedy's comment complicate relations between two vital allies?

Associate director of Temple University's institute of contemporary Asian studies Kyle Cleveland joined CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" to discuss.

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