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International | Animal Liberation

Japanese Whaling
by Action for our Planet (AFOP)
Sunday Jan 16th, 2011 7:45 AM
For years Japan has been working desperately to lift an international ban on whaling which would give Japan the ability to slaughter thousands more whales for profit. Currently, the Japanese government and fisheries department exploit a legal loophole which allows whaling for ‘scientific research’ purposes.

Although the Japanese hunt whales on grounds of this legal loophole, their true intentions are and always have been to kill whales for whale meat and oil which generates large profits. The dirty tactics of Japanese whalers do not go unnoticed and the Australian government has filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court of Justice against whaling activities.

However, this legal process is incredibly slow and a huge amount of evidence has to be compiled before the Japanese and other relevant parties are brought to justice. Some of the dirty tactics employed by the Japanese whale supporters include holding conversations with the US government on how to take down the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and bribing Fisheries Agency officers with $3,000 worth of whale meat.

It was revealed in a recent Wikileak that the director general of Japan’s fisheries agency, Katsuhiro Machida and others actively pushed for the US to take action against Sea Shepherd in order to help stop the disruption of Japan’s annual whale hunt. The US representative to the International Whaling Committee, Monica Medina, tried to convince the European Union and Australia to except a deal that would legalize Japanese whaling.

In contrast to Medina’s support of Japanese whaling she expressed ‘‘deep disappointment’’ in Iceland for failing to end whale hunting. In one instance Miss Medina supports whaling and in the other instance she is totally against it. The US representative involved in the Wikileak boasted that the US could probably take away Sea Shepherd’s tax exempt status due to their ‘‘aggressive and harmful actions’’. Sea Shepherd’s president, Captain Paul Watson responded to the US representatives accusations and said "The fact is that Sea Shepherd has not violated a single American law, and therefore the U.S. government has no cause to act against a U.S. organization and its U.S. citizens merely at the pleasure of Japan to request that it does so". He also responded to Monica Medina’s actions "Monica Medina, of course, has no authority to speak on the issue of tax status because was not authorized to do so by the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Department of State."

Sea Shepherd is currently pursuing Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean and has so far stopped any whales from being slaughtered. It would seem Japanese whaling supporters will go to almost any lengths to help cling on to an illegal and dying industry.