Charged For Exposing The Truth

The case of the missing whale meat seems to have taken an odd turn lately. Greenpeace uncovered a significant operation where crew members of Japan’s whaling factory ship were smuggling cases of prime whale cuts off the vessel for personal use. Many fishermen to take home a few fillets after a long trip, in fact within the US the National Marine Fisheries Service even has a code to use on a commercial fishing vessel reporting form when fish is used for home consumption. This way the fish are still accounted for when calculating how much was caught. However in the case of Japan’s whaling we’re talking about blatant corruption not personal consumption. It’s yet another layer of deceit and dishonesty that’s systemic within a whaling industry that continuously operates in defiance of scientific advice, and in violation of international law.

Greenpeace uncovered this smuggling operation using a complex and well orchestrated undercover operation using crew members on board.

Their investigation uncovered that the whale meat was shipped off the boat in boxes fraudulently labeled as containing cardboard. I can see what the crew will likely claim in their defense, ‘I thought the shipping label asks for what the box is made of, not what it contains!’ Whatever. For an organization that claims to be scientific, alleges whales are the cause of global decline of fisheries, and actually wants to interbreed whales with cows for better steaks, this could very well be their latest claim. You have to wonder if anyone in the ICR actually believes this stuff.

Japan wasn’t too happy to have yet another layer of corruption uncovered for the world to see and promptly arrested two members of Greenpeace Japan for stealing the stolen whale meat to turn into police. Follow this so far?

1- Crew steals the whale meat from a trip in violation of international treaty.

2- Crew attempt to ship it home claiming to be cardboard.

3- Greenpeace intercepts the cardboard-that’s really-whale-meat and turn it into police.

4-Greenpeace staff are arrested, held in jail for three weeks without being charged, then finally charged with stealing whale meat!

Much like commercial whaling it defies logic.

IFAW has been monitoring this issue closely since it first broke in late May and is adding our name and strong support to the attached NGO statement. The text of which can be read below.


We, the undersigned, fully support the following statement and urge the Japanese authorities and all concerned governments and decision makers to take immediate action to release the Tokyo Two: The unnecessary detention of two peaceful protestors from Greenpeace in Japan is of grave concern. The willingness of Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki to cooperate with the police investigation into the manner in which they obtained the evidence of their allegations of large-scale corruption within the Japanese government-sponsored Southern Ocean whaling program must be recognized. It is these allegations that require further investigation. Sato and Suzuki’s detention without charge must be ended immediately. The rights of individuals and organizations to freedom of expression, the ability to voice opposition to government policies, investigate corruption and expose environmental and human rights abuses must always be upheld. The law cannot be used or abused as an instrument of oppression. Punishing dissent and peaceful protest through intimidation and detention without charge is unacceptable in the 21st century. Please release Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki and provide Greenpeace Japan and all other Non-governmental organizations working in Japan with the rights guaranteed under international law to organize and to protest peacefully.

We strongly encourage supporters to submit a letter on behalf of our imprisoned fellow whale advocates and help fight for their freedom.

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