Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Japanese official: police may be asked to protect whalers from protest ships

Thought whaling was a thing of the past? Think again!

The only question this article brings to mind for me is: Does anyone have any torpedos to donate to the Sea Shepherd?

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Japan's fisheries agency may ask for Japanese police to be sent to protect the country's whaling fleet following two separate collisions this week between whalers and protest ships, a senior official said Tuesday.

Conservation groups Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd have been chasing Japan's whaling fleet in Antarctic waters for two weeks, frustrating their hunt for the 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales that Japan says it wants to kill as part of a scientific research program. Japan sells the whale meat for food.

Hideki Moronuki, the deputy chief of the Far Seas Fisheries division of Japan's Fisheries Agency, was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press that it may ask Japan's Maritime Police Agency to support its whaling operations if the conservationists escalate their interference.

AAP reported that when asked what Japanese police could do if deployed, Moronuki, speaking from Japan, replied, "I have no idea. They may dispatch aircraft and they may ask the Australian government to take some action."

The two separate collisions on Sunday occurred in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary established by the International Whaling Commission in 1994. Japan does not recognize the sanctuary.

Conservationists have urged the Australian and New Zealand governments - both strong opponents of whaling - to send navy ships to stop Japanese ships from killing whales.

Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill said Tuesday there were no plans to deploy ships.

"It's a civilian issue," Hill said. "We don't see an Australian military role."

New Zealand Defence Minister Phil Goff said there would be no role for a navy ship as New Zealand had "no legal authority over either party."

"Sending a frigate down there would serve no purpose at all because we would have no authority to act as intermediaries between the protesters and the whalers," he said.

Japan and Greenpeace are at odds about who was to blame for Sunday's collision between the whaler Nisshin Maru and Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise. The Greenpeace ship was dented at the bow, but no injuries were reported.

Sea Shepherd said it deliberately struck the supply vessel Oriental Bluebird with its ship Farley Mowat later Sunday. Neither ship was badly damaged and no injuries were reported.

"We sideswiped them to get our point across," Paul Watson, the Farley Mowat's captain, told Seven Network television Tuesday by satellite phone.

The Australian government has condemned Sea Shepherd for using extreme tactics.


Miss Ash said...

GO Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd !!! I'd give them torpedos if i had some.

tokyo tintin said...

the number of times i've tried to have a japanese person consider the inappropriacy of eating an endangered species AND breaking international law is just astounding. they think eating whales is perfectly okay because "it's part of japanese culture". it's their mantra, they all repeat it over and over. nevermind that japanese culture also involves wearing kimono and living in wood-and-paper houses, which no one does, still gotta eat them whales!

so frustrating!

Jennifer said...

Hey TT,
I think you should try out this arguement on them and see how it goes. "Well, if it's in your culture to eat endangered species because it's a terrible thing that was done by Japanese people in the past, then it's in my culture to drop nuclear bombs on Japan, because that's a terrible thing that was done by English speakers in the past. I guess that makes it OK for me to drop an atomic bomb on Japan."
Let me know how that works out.

Jennifer said...

By the way, did anyone else see the news story about the Greenpeace activist getting knocked out of the boat when the Japanese whalers shot a whale that was within feet of the Greenpeace boat.
This makes me see red, and makes me want to donate money to Greenpeace. Imagine getting knocked into the Antarctic waters, even in the summer, that's extreme. I just watched March of the Penguins the other day, it looked cold there even in the summer. Also March of the Penguins was a really interesting movie, you should see it. Also, you should boycott all Japanese products. This might be hard for Tokyo Tintin, since he lives in Japan, but the rest of us have no excuse.