Evidences of Japan Case

Case 40-2018: Japan & Prime Minister Shinzo Abe


By Master Yan Maitri-Shi, Prosecutor



After Legitimating and Validating Evidences and Charges by Master Maitreya, President and Spiritual Judge of IBEC-BTHR, it is addressed the case against the accused party, Japan & Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This investigation was initiated from the “Peace Recognition to Sea Shepherd”.

The Charges by which the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights is accusing Japan & Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are enumerated below:

  • Ecocide and Crimes against Nature
  • Violation of International Law
  • Violation of Buddhist Law

Therefore, it is detailed a series of EVIDENCES that support the Charges referred so that the Jury members decide about the possible “Responsibility”, “Innocence” or “Insanity” of the accused. Such evidence come from graphic and audiovisual media that have been gathered, sorted and confirmed in their order and context as Means of Proof in order to know, establish, dictate and determine the Responsibility of the Accused for committing the aforementioned Charges.

The procedure established in the Statute of INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST ETHICS  COMMITTEE & BUDDHIST TRIBUNAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS provides both bodies the ostentation to enjoy independence and liberty from state and national regulation and control, besides having the legality and acting as a Buddhist People in order to assert its customs, traditions, practices, procedures, judgments and rights as well as acting in pursuit of the development of Spirituality, of Buddhist Ethics, and of the defense of International Human Rights. This procedure has the particularity, singularity and distinction of having “Special Jurisdiction of the Tribal Law” and “Universal Jurisdiction of the International Law”, thus having the Character, Juridical validity, Legal Powers, infrastructure, Training and Capability necessary to be Actor, Administrator and Executor of Justice in this realm and exercise, by judging of the Accused by means of an Ethical Judgment whose Purpose is Truth, Reconciliation and Learning.-




Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights: The Evidences from the Japan Case show that this country has carried out acts of extermination against cetaceans, which constitutes a crime of Ecocide and Crimes against Nature. In addition, Japan has carried out these actions in violation of International Law, given that there are treaties that prohibit this ecocidal action, in addition to that Japan has been revealed against rulings of the International Court of Justice. On the other hand, since Japan is a country where the ancient system of Buddhist Law was developed, it is also demonstrated that Japan’s actions constitute a violation of the ethical precept of not killing sentient beings and also a violation of the ethical precept of not lying, since the extermination of cetaceans is being carried out with deceptive reasons: in the name of science and in the name of supposed cultural traditions of Japan.


Evidence: Extermination of cetaceans

Dr. Reese Halter: “On September 1, Japan recommenced the ruthless ‘War Against Nature’ and the dolphins. It’s brutal, vile and shocking. It’s an insatiable bloodlust that’s driven by a disgusting sense of entitlement and illicit, obscene profits. Scientists have documented these atrocities and reported that dolphins experience the highest level of pain, trauma, and distress. Join me for another segment of SOS as I show you the shameful ecocide taking place in the Taiji Cove, Japan. It’s time to end the Taiji drive-hunting — It’s evil. The dolphins, by the way, are laced with toxicity, unsafe for human consumption.  This heartless brutality is ecocide. In the past 70 years, Japan has annihilated over one million cetaceans (whales and dolphins). The 2014 Taiji kill quota numbers were released in August. One thousand nine hundred and thirty eight cetacean death warrant were issued for 2014-2015, including 70 false killer whales, 114 short-finned pilot whales, 134 Pacific white-sided dolphins, 261 Risso dolphins, 400 Pantropical spotted dolphins, 450 striped dolphins, and 509 bottlenose dolphins.
These deranged bloodbaths begin by lowering metal poles into the sea and banging them incessantly. These awful noises frighten dolphins and disrupt their ability to communicate amongst the pod. Anxious dolphins are herded into the narrow Taiji Cove where sociopathic ocean-killers savagely attack them with daggers. The best looking dolphins are isolated from the pod and sold as slaves to dolphinariums. These magnificent sentient creatures are penned-up, drugged and electrocuted into submission. They are sentenced to a miserable existence, entertaining crass consumers. In 2013, Japan sold 158 dolphins into slavery, at an average price of $140,000; that’s over $22 million from animal kidnapping and extreme cruelty. Moreover, organized crime is profiting from this loathsome cetacean slavery industry. This unconscionable cruelty is unacceptable! (…) Japan is plundering the ocean, and because they are currently an economic superpower all other nations are turning a blind eye. That’s why Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is involved, there’s no worldwide government agency upholding international laws and protecting sealife. Biodiversity in the ocean is being significantly diminished, globally. The strength of the ocean depends upon the abundance of biodiversity, which is all interconnected. Prolonged looting is quickly killing Earth’s oceans — our life support system. And as Captain Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd, correctly says If the oceans die, we die. (…)It’s time to end this senseless ecocide”[1]

The Guardian: “Japan’s coastal hunts for small cetaceans not sustainable, says report. Pursuit of whale, dolphin and porpoise species should be phased out, says Environmental Investigation Agency. Some species of whale, dolphin and porpoise could be hunted into extinction unless Japan stops pursuing them in its coastal waters, a new report has warned. Japan catches almost 17,000 smaller cetaceans off its coast every year – a tradition that its whalers say stretches back centuries. The coastal hunts, which include the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, are no longer sustainable and should be phased out over the next 10 years, the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency said in a report launched in Tokyo on Thursday. The hunts in Japan’s coastal waters specifically target nine small cetacean species, eight of them with government-set catch limits which are clearly unsustainable, said EIA campaigner and report co-author Sarah Baulch. For 2013, the catch limits allow the slaughter of 16,655 small cetaceans, but our analysis of available scientific data raises very serious concerns about the sustainability of these hunts. The EIA estimates that more than 1 million whales, dolphins and porpoises have been killed in Japanese waters in the past 70 years. (…) In most cases, Japan’s catch limits are based on data collected more than 20 years ago and some species have already been hunted beyond the point where their numbers can recover, the report said. The current quota is well below the 30,000 killed in Japan every year until limits were introduced in 1993. The coastal hunt is separate from Japan’s annual slaughter of bigger whale species in the Antarctic. The report blames growing demand for dolphins and other small cetaceans from aquariums and sea parks around the world, particularly in China: live dolphins, for example, can fetch between $8,400 and $98,000. (…) Despite strong indications of population declines, there appears to be little formal monitoring by the government of Japan, Baulch said. The EIA also cited the risk to Japanese consumers of eating meat and blubber with methyl mercury levels many times higher than the safe limit. Japan’s stubborn reluctance to relinquish this archaic industry is not only driving threatened marine species towards extinction, but is endangering the health of its people, said Sakae Hemmi of the Japan-based group Elsa Nature Conservancy.”[2]

Ross Brooks: “Whales and Dolphins Face Extinction Because Japan Uses Obsolete Hunting Data. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) recently released a report highlighting Japan’s use of obsolete data to set hunting quotas for whales, dolphins and porpoises. Even though this year’s catch limit of 16,655 for small cetaceans is a drastic improvement from the 30,000 caught annually in 1993 before limits were set, some species have still been hunted beyond the point of recovery. Japan still carries out the largest hunt in the world, a problem compounded by the lucrative “live catch” market for aquariums that can earn hunters between $8,400 and $98,000 per animal. A prime example of why small cetaceans are most threatened by overfishing is the Dall’s porpoise, whose catch numbers are still 4.7-4.8 times higher than the safe threshold. The striped dolphin, a species which used to be the mainstay of the industry during the 1980s when roughly 1,800 were caught each year, is in the same boat. Now they are often impossible to find and only 100 of them are caught each year. Whales and dolphins aren’t the only animals under threat – Japanese eels and puffer fish, both considered a national delicacy, are often unable to escape fishermen’s nets. Japan’s Fisheries Agency defends coastal whaling as a longstanding tradition that is also necessary for scientific research, even though the meat from a single bottlenose dolphin can fetch roughly $50,000, making it hard to believe the motivation is purely scientific. They also refused to comment on the latest EIA report, which shows that they are setting quotas based on 20 year old population data, because they “hadn’t seen it.” The environmental agency has urged the government to update its data and stop transferring quotas from already overfished areas to those that exceed their quotas. Even if the government were to update its hunt limits, it has long relied on a 1946 treaty that grants nations permits to kill whales for scientific research. So, until this loophole is closed, it is unlikely that Japan is going to stop its excessive hunting practices until every last whale, dolphin and porpoise has been exterminated.”[3]

GWYNNE DYER: “When the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission opened in Alaska on Monday (28 May), Japan declared that it planned to kill fifty humpback whales as well as the usual minke and fin whales next year in its “scientific” whale-hunt (catch them, count them, and sell them as food). Humpbacks were heading for extinction when the IWC agreed a moratorium on all commercial whaling in 1986, so the place erupted in protests. Australian Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it “a highly provocative act,” but it is also a carefully calculated one. Japan’s real goal is to get commercial whaling re-started, and it offered to drop the plan to kill humpbacks if the IWC approves a return to “limited commercial whaling” by four Japanese coastal villages. Just four little villages for now, and strictly limited numbers of whales — but the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling would have been broken. The pro-moratorium countries at the IWC understand Japan’s tactics and will not make that deal, reckoning the lives of fifty humpbacks are less important than the principle of no commercial whaling. (…) The IWC estimates that there were only 115,000 humpbacks before whaling began, but in a 2005 study marine biologist Steve Palumbi of Stanford University examined genetic diversity among humpbacks, which is directly related to the size of the ancestral population, and concluded that there used to be between 750,000 and two million of them. At best, humpback whales have only recovered to eight percent of their former numbers, and it may be as little as three percent. (…)  At this point, 29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed; that is, their catch has declined by 90 percent, explained Prof. Boris Worm of Dalhousie University late last year. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating. If the trend continues, he predicted, ALL fish and seafood species that are fished commercially will collapse by 2048. Individual fishermen, up to their ears in debt for their high-tech boats and equipment, cannot reverse this trend because they HAVE to go on fishing. Governments could cut the huge subsidies they give to their fishermen, and above all to the bottom-trawlers that are systematically turning the floors of the world’s oceans to mud, but they are unwilling to face the political protests of well-organised fishing lobbies. The systematic destruction of the world’s fisheries will continue unless some body equivalent to the International Whaling Commission takes charge, and how likely is that? Not very.  Or at least, an International Fisheries Commission with global regulatory authority is only likely to be accepted, as the IWC was, when all the commercial stocks have already collapsed. Yet fast-breeding fish can recover far faster than whales: as little as five years would allow most fish stocks to recover if a moratorium is imposed before total population collapse occurs. (…) The world’s fishing fleet needs to be reduced by at least two-thirds, bottom-trawling must be banned outright, and widespread fishing moratoriums for endangered species and even for whole areas need to be imposed for periods of five or even ten years. Unfortunately, the minimum measures needed to prevent ecocide in the oceans would cause major short-term disruption and throw millions out of work, so they probably won’t be taken. It will be much easier politically to ignore what is happening now and let the collapse happen later, on somebody else’s watch.”[4]

Carl Safina: “Japan insists on killing whales and that the kill is sustainable. The main problem is: they lie. (…) Second, most large whales worldwide remain at extremely depressed numbers compared to their original population sizes. Whaling did that to them. (…) Japan does not own these whales. They steal them from the rest of us, in defiance of the spirit and intent of the International Whaling Commission’s global whaling ban.”[5]

Andy Revkin – New York Times: “Japan, while adhering to a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, has sent sturdy ships to Antarctic waters and, more recently, parts of the Pacific Ocean to kill hundreds of whales in the name of scientific research. Vessels from the groups Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace tail and harass the whaling fleet, while strong protests are lodged by environmental groups, many marine biologists, and officials from the United States, Australia and other countries. But this year those complaints have intensified, largely because Japan has added a new animal to its planned harvest of more than 1,400 whales from seven species — the humpback, Megaptera novaeangliae. Japan hopes to kill 50 of these endangered whales, which have long held a place in the public’s imagination with their other-worldly songs, habit of rocketing their 30-plus tons out of the sea and migrations of up to 10,000 miles a year. Melville once described the humpback as “the most gamesome and lighthearted of all the whales.” Whaling nearly wiped it out, reducing the humpback’s numbers to perhaps a 1,000 by the mid-1960s. Today, estimates put the total at roughly 30,000. They are considered at high risk of extinction by the World Conservation Union. “Humpbacks are some of the most wonderful and mysterious creatures in the ocean, with the longest vocalization produced by any animal, including humans, with their bouts of song that last up to 23 hours,” said David Rothenberg, a professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and author of a forthcoming book on whale songs and science.”[6]

Dr. Reese Halter: “There’s a crisis of epic proportion occurring on our planet 24/7, 365: ‘The War Against Nature‘ has become a prolonged looting spree — plundering terrestrial and oceanic wildlife on a global tear never witnessed before. (…) What kind of a world are we leaving for our children? (…) We know that both baleen or filter feeding and toothed whales are of paramount importance to help maintain Earth’s beleaguered marine ecosystems. Why since the 1986 Moratorium on Whaling has Japan, Iceland, Norway and Danish Faroe Islanders slaughtered almost 32,000 of these exquisite creatures? These countries exhibit a repugnant sense of entitlement to slaughter whales. We are knowingly leaving our children impoverished oceans, and as Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society rightfully says: ‘If the whales die, we die!’ The legendary Animal Kingdom protector Bob Barker believes that all wild animals deserve to live free on planet Earth. Make a difference and support Sea Shepherd Australia as they valiantly protect the great whales of the Southern Ocean within an international whale sanctuary. Humans cannot live without Nature. Nature, on the other hand, can totally exist without us. It’s time to end ‘The War Against Nature’ now — And protect the remaining great whales, dolphins,”[7]


Evidence: Illegal whaling and Violation of International Law

The Conversation: “Australia, along with a number of pro-conservation whaling nations, was a longstanding critic of Japan’s JARPA-sanctioned whaling. But it was the commencement of JARPAII that really raised the diplomatic and legal stakes. There had been long-running suspicions that Japan was using the cover of Article 8 of the Whaling Convention to legitimise its activities as “scientific” rather than “commercial” whaling. But the very significant rise in numbers of minke whales that Japan proposed to take under JARPAII tipped the scales in favour of a legal argument that Japan was really undertaking commercial whaling, in violation of the Convention. That fin whales were a threatened species and humpback whales endangered, further added to the legal argument. Australia’s legal case before the International Court primarily focusses on a claim that Japan is conducting commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean in breach of the Convention’s moratorium. Australia will also argue that Japan’s conduct violates the ban on commercial whaling in the International Whaling Commission-sanctioned “Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary”. Australia will also assert that Japan’s conduct of JARPAII cannot be justified as legitimate “scientific research” for the purposes of Article VIII of the Whaling Convention. Australia will make supplementary legal argument that aspects of Japan’s conduct are also contrary to the 1973 Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species and the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity.”[8]

The Guardian: “A fleet of Japanese ships is currently hunting minke whales in the Southern Ocean. It is a politically incendiary practice: the waters around Antarctica were long ago declared a whale sanctuary, but the designation has not halted Japan’s whalers, who are continuing a tradition of catching whales (…) In the past, conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd have mounted campaigns of harassment and successfully blocked Japan’s ships from killing whales. But not this year. Despite previous successes, Sea Shepherd says it can no longer frustrate Japan’s whalers because their boats now carry hardware supplied from military sources, making the fleet highly elusive and almost impossible to track. As a result the whalers are – for the first time – being given a free run to kill minke in the Southern Ocean. (…)  Japan is not the only nation to hunt whales. Norway has a commercial operation in its own waters, for example. But what infuriates conservationists is that Japan is hunting and killing whales in a conservation zone, the Southern Ocean whaling sanctuary, that surrounds Antarctica. Japan claims that it does so only for scientific purposes.  Essentially, they are exploiting a loophole in the rules – introduced in the 80s – that govern the banning of commercial whaling, said Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd. Originally Japan set out to catch more than 900 minkes every year, as well as 50 humpbacks and 50 fin whales. However, its fleet was rarely able to reach these quotas because of actions by groups like Sea Shepherd. “We physically got in between the whalers and the whales and stopped the latter being killed,” said Hammarstedt. “One year we stopped Japan getting all but 10% of its quota. Their ships were nearly empty when they got back home.” Then, a few years ago, the International Court of Justice – at the instigation of Australia and New Zealand – ruled that the country’s whaling plan had no scientific basis. Japan was forced to halt whale hunting and had to come back with a plan to carry out “scientific whaling” in the region. (…) In addition, the Japanese have provided military tracking hardware to the fleet, according to Sea Shepherd. “Essentially, they can see exactly where we are, but we still only have a rough idea of their position,” said Watson. “This is all part of the vast subsidy provided by the Japanese government for their whalers. And to top that they have also made it an act of terrorism for anybody to approach within 500 metres of a whaling vessel. There are putting up a lot of muscle against us.” As a result, Sea Shepherd has decided not to send a vessel to try to interrupt Japan’s whaling efforts this year.  (…) Hammarstedt agreed. “We were active in the Southern Ocean for 10 years and saved more than 6,000 whales. We also have many other critically important campaigns to run elsewhere in the world.” Just why the Japanese are so determined to kill whales when most of the world wants to conserve them is an intriguing issue. Since the 1980s, the international community has been largely united in agreeing to stop the practice because of the dramatic declines in populations that had occurred after centuries of whaling. But not Japan. (…)  “Japan does not want anyone else to have influence on its marine policy and as a result has followed a practice of voting down anything and everything to do with conservation at sea,” added Hammarstedt. There are other issues. Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, is a conservative and a nationalist, and is opposed to giving way to other nations over traditional issues, say observers. They point out that Abe has tried to turn the catching of whales into a nationalist concern by claiming it is a cultural topic unique to Japan and should be given special international status.”[9]

The Guardian: “Anti-whaling campaign group Sea Shepherd says it has photographed Japanese whalers carrying out a slaughter inside Australia’s Antarctic whale sanctuary, the same day the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was in Australia on a state visit. In the first documented killing since the international court of justice ruled Japan’s Antarctic whaling illegal in 2014, Sea Shepherd released photographs of what it says is a dead minke on the deck of the whaler Nisshin Maru at 11.34am on Sunday. Sea Shepherd activists, who took the photos by helicopter after five weeks shadowing the Japanese whalers, said the Nisshin Maru crew tried to hide the slaughtered minke with a tarpaulin. (…) The photographs are also the first to document the Japanese fleet’s killing of whales since Australia’s federal court in 2015 found the industry was in contempt for killing protected whales in Australia’s declared sanctuary. The court fined Japanese whalers $1m over the killings but the fines were ignored. (…) Wyanda Lublink, the captain of the Steve Irwin, said the whalers know they are in contempt of the ruling of the international court of justice and the Australian federal court. The fact that the Japanese crew went to cover up their harpoons and the dead minke whale on deck just shows that they know what they’re doing is wrong, she said. (…) Japan had previously caught hundreds of whales a year in Antarctic waters, eluding a worldwide moratorium on whale hunting under a “scientific” research program other nations regarded as a sham. (…) International law professor and whaling expert Tim Stephens has told the ABC that Australia could put a stop to whale hunting by taking Japan to the international tribunal for the law of the sea. Stephens said the tribunal had a system of mandatory dispute settlement of which it would be difficult for Japan to opt out.”[10]

Kitty Block – Humane Society International: “Each year that Japan persists with its discredited scientific whaling is another year where these wonderful animals are needlessly sacrificed,” “It is an obscene cruelty in the name of science that must end.”

The Guardian: “Japan kills more than 300 whales in annual Antarctic hunt. Whaling fleet returns to port after slaughtering hundreds of minke whales, in defiance of moratorium on hunting and global criticism. A Japanese whaling fleet returned to port on Friday after an annual Antarctic hunt that killed more than 300 of the mammals, as Tokyo pursues the programme in defiance of global criticism. The fleet set sail for the Southern Ocean in November, with plans to slaughter 333 minke whales, flouting a worldwide moratorium and opposition led by Australia and New Zealand. (…) In a press release, the agency described the mission as “research for the purpose of studying the ecological system in the Antarctic Sea”. But environmentalists and the International Court of Justice (IJC) call that a fiction and say the real purpose is simply to hunt whales for their meat. (…) Japan also caught 333 minke whales in the previous season ending in 2016 after a one-year hiatus prompted by an IJC ruling, which said the hunt was a commercial venture masquerading as science and ordered Tokyo to end it. Under the International Whaling Commission (IWC), to which Japan is a signatory, there has been a moratorium on hunting whales since 1986. Tokyo exploits a loophole allowing whales to be killed for “scientific research” and claims it is trying to prove the population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting. But it also makes no secret of the fact that whale meat ends up on dinner tablesand is served in school lunches. (…) In response to the ICJ ruling, Japan’s 2014-15 mission carried out only “non-lethal research” such as taking skin samples and doing headcounts.”[11]

DW: “Representatives of the United States and New Zealand used the meeting to express concern about Japan’s whaling, claiming that Tokyo is failing to release adequate information on its program, although Japan disputes that claim.”[12]

Sue Fisher, Animal Welfare Institute: “Japan has already had more than a year to demonstrate that it is in compliance with the treaty. The fact is that it cannot; its use of sei whale meat is clearly commercial.” “Now, another 134 whales will die for Japan to be given ‘due process,”

Mark Simmonds – Humane Society International: “CITES failed to stand up for its rules.” “Japan’s domestic market sales of thousands of tons of sei whale products each year are not for the purpose of science, and the whale products sold are not the by-products of research,” “Securing whale meat is the primary motivation for the hunt and it is brought into Japan to maintain and further build a commercial market.” ‘Sham will continue’”

Jeff Hansen, managing director of Sea Shepherd Australia: “There has already been a ruling by the International Court of Justice that Japan’s whaling is illegal and Tokyo has openly stated in the past that it wants to resume commercial whaling,” “Everything we are seeing is preparations for that and I believe it is time that the rest of the world stopped pussy-footing around Japan and sorted this out. “Japanese people do not know that whale meat has high levels of mercury and is therefore dangerous to eat, and they are not told that the industry is heavily subsidized by the government to allow it to continue.” “Why are taxpayers’ funds being used to fund an insane mission on the other side of the world for a product that no-one wants?” “Sea Shepherd is asking the Australian government to do all it can to end whaling, by not only sending a ship to the Antarctic but to also take Japan to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, where Japan can be challenged over its activities as Japan is not meeting its international obligations to sustainably protect whales,”[13]

DW: “Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he’s very disappointed at Tokyo’s decision to resume whaling in the Antarctic Ocean. (…) Japan’s commercial whaling fleet set sail this month for the Antarctic after a one-year pause, sparking a formal protest from 33 countries, led by Australia and New Zealand. (…) The Japanese government said last month it planned to kill 333 minke whales for scientific research this season. The plan came despite an international moratorium and widespread opposition to the practice. The whaling fleet’s departure marked the end of a year-long hunting suspension prompted by a UN International Court of Justice ruling in 2014. The court had found that the annual hunt was a commercial venture masquerading as scientific research.”[14]

DW: “Japan’s top whaling official has said that Tokyo did its best to meet criteria established by the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) on whaling. The statement comes as 33 countries urged Japan to stop the practice. The ICW officially implemented a worldwide moratorium on the practice in 1986, although Japan says it hunts the marine mammals for scientific research. In 2014, the ICJ ruled that Japan’s annual whale hunt was part of a commercial venture, and not intended for research. Japan consequently stopped its whaling activities for a year. However, a Japanese whaling fleet left for Antarctica earlier this month, effectively ending the country’s self-imposed suspension. (…) Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said that the country’s ambassador to Japan delivered a formal message from 33 countries condemning Japan’s actions. We consider that there is no scientific basis for the slaughter of whales and strongly urge the government of Japan not to allow it to go ahead, Key said in a statement. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also condemned the hunt, saying Canberra was considering legal action against Japan. We are working with other like-minded nations to build international consensus against Japanese whaling, the foreign minister said in a statement. We are also exploring options for further legal action.”[15]

U.N. News: “The United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled against Japan in a case involving charges by Australia that the country was using a scientific research programme to mask a commercial whaling venture in the Antarctic. The Hague-based UN judicial arm ordered a temporary halt to the activities, largely involving fin, humpback and minke whales, finding that the Japanese Whaling Research Programme under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA II) is not in accordance with three provisions of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). In May 2010, Australia instituted proceedings alleging that Japan was pursuing a large-scale programme of whaling under JARPA II, and was in breach of its ICRW obligations, as well as its other international obligations for the preservation of marine mammals and the marine environment. In its application, Australia requested that the ICJ order Japan to end the research programme, revoke any authorizations, permits or licences allowing the programme’s activities; and provide assurances and guarantees that it will not take any further action under the JARPA II or ‘any similar programme until such programme has been brought into conformity with its obligations under international law. Though Japan rejected the charges and countered that its scientific research programme was in line with treaty obligations, 12 of the 16 World Court Judges found that the country was in violation of three ICRW Schedule provisions and, following Australia’s request, ordered that the country revoke any extant authorization, permit or license to kill, take or treat whales in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits for that programme. (…) Even if a whaling programme involves scientific research, the killing, taking and treating of whales pursuant to such a programme does not fall within Article VIII unless these activities are ‘for purposes of’ scientific research, explained the ICJ in a press release today, adding that it found no evidence of such purpose in JARPA II. Judgments handed down by the ICJ are final and binding on the parties.”[16]

Lacy Cooke: “333 Antarctic minke whales were slaughtered by a Japanese fleet in the name of “science” – even though we have techniques of studying whales without murdering them. 230 of those whales were female, and 90.2 percent of them were pregnant. Japan ignored international law on a four-month expedition that was not sanctioned by the International Whaling Commission. Back in 2014, the United Nations’ International Court of Justice ruled Japan’s whaling was illegal and that it did not fit under scientific whaling requirements. They ordered Japan to stop Antarctic whaling completely. At first Japan agreed to honor the court’s ruling, but just a few months later the nation said it would continue to whale. Japan commenced whaling under the new program NEWREP-A, claiming they needed to kill whales in order to study their populations. Several countries spoke out against Japan’s announcement, but they proceeded in the face of international condemnation, and even announced they plan to kill around 4,000 Antarctic minke whales in the next 12 years. According to the World Wildlife Fund, not only do we have techniques to study whales without murdering them, but those techniques are more efficient and accurate. Environmentalists have condemned Japan for exploiting the concession of scientific whaling when the meat actually ends up in markets rather than labs. According to Reuters, the whale meat from these so-called scientific expeditions is sold in stores even though few Japanese people even eat whale meat. The slaughter is all the worse because we don’t know the exact population of Antarctic minke whales. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature believes that during 1978 and 2004, there may have been a 60 percent decrease in the whale population. While there is insufficient data to know for sure, if the union is correct, the minke whale would be an endangered species. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation started a petition to encourage the EU to not sign a trade agreement with Japan that’s currently pending until Japan stops whaling. You can sign it here.”[17]

The Independent: “EU and 12 other countries condemn Japan over whaling and reject claim annual slaughter is for research. Country’s current mission plans to kill 333 minke whales in the space of four months. The international community has condemned Japan’s current whaling mission, and questioned the reason it has stated for plans to kill 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean this year. The European Union was joined by 12 other nations in its call for Japan to end its whaling programme, stating that it is “resolutely opposed” to commercial whaling. Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on whale hunting, but Tokyo continues to hunt the mammals each year under the claim it is for scientific research. (…) Critics claim Japan’s lethal scientific research is a cover for commercial whaling, AFP reports.  [We] jointly express [our] opposition to Japan’s continued so-called ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean, the EU and 12 other nations said in a joint statement. We remain resolutely opposed to commercial whaling, in particular in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary established by the IWC. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru and Uruguay are the 12 nations that joined the EU in condemning Japan’s mission. New Zealand’s foreign minister Winston Peters said the statement highlights the strong international disapproval of Japan’s continued whaling in the Southern Ocean contrary to IWC requests. He said New Zealand would continue to work closely with other IWC members seeking to have Japan re-think what it is doing, the New Zealand Herald reports.”[18]

Lucy Purdy: “The Australian government first applied to the ICJ in 2010, saying that Japan did not observe in good faith the zero catch limit in relation to the killing of whales.  Australia’s case rested largely on the assertion that Japan was using scientific research as a cover for commercial whaling, selling the meat in restaurants and supermarkets. Japanese whalers are said to have killed 850 minke whales and up to 50 endangered fin whales every year, claiming the deaths were in order to study the whale population with a view to the reintroduction of sustainable commercial whaling.”[19]

Reuters: “Japan to resume Antarctic whale hunt despite ICJ ruling. International Court of Justice ruled last year that Japanese whaling must stop, amid widespread outrage at the practiceJapan has decided to resume whaling in the Antarctic Ocean by the end of March after a hiatus since last year, a move likely to prompt international outrage. The International Court of Justice ruled in March last year that Japan’s decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season. The order from the United Nations court was binding and cannot be appealed. It was handed down after Australia brought a case against Japan, presenting evidence that the country had slaughtered more than 10,000 whales since 1989 under the pretext of scientific research, in breach of international conventions to preserve marine mammals. But the Japanese Fisheries Agency on Friday notified the International Whaling Commission that Japan will resume whaling in the 2015/2016 season under a revised plan.”[20]

HIROKO TABUCHI and MARLISE SIMONS: “The decision to ban Japan’s annual whaling drive off Antarctica, handed down by the United Nations’ highest court on Monday, was a hard-won victory for conservationists who long argued that Tokyo’s whaling research was a cover for commercial whaling. The ruling by the International Court of Justice in The Hague halts a Japanese program that has captured more than 10,000 minke and other whales in the Southern Ocean since 1988 in the name of biological research. (…)  In a 12-to-4 judgment, the court found that Japan was in breach of its international obligations by catching and killing minke whales and issuing permits for hunting humpback and fin whales within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, established by the International Whaling Commission. Reading a summary of the judgment, the presiding judge, Peter Tomka of Slovakia, said that the latest Japanese program, which was expanded in 2005, had involved the killing of thousands of minke whales and a number of fin whales, but that its “scientific output to date appears limited.” The ruling suggested that Japan’s whaling hunt was based on politics and logistics, rather than science. Lawyers attending the proceedings said there was a gasp among the audience when Judge Tomka ordered Japan to immediately “revoke all whaling permits” and not issue any new ones under the existing program.”[21]

ABC: “Japan to resume ‘research’ whaling in Antarctic, move to conflict with ruling by International Court of Justice. Japan has decided to resume whaling in the Antarctic Ocean by the end of March after a hiatus since last year, a move likely to prompt international outrage. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last year ruled that Japan’s decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling in the 2014-2015 season. But the Japanese Fisheries Agency has now notified the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that it will resume whaling in the 2015-2016 season under a revised plan. (…)  There was no immediate comment from the IWC or the ICJ. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said Japan had previously said it would abide by the ruling, and added that there is no need to kill whales in the name of research.”[22]

The Malay Mail Online: “A Japanese whaling fleet set sail for the Antarctic today, on a mission to resume the slaughter after a one-year pause, with environmentalists slamming the move as a “crime against nature.” (…)  Despite a worldwide moratorium and opposition from usually-friendly nations like Australia and New Zealand, Japan persists in hunting whales for what it says is scientific research. Tokyo claims it is trying to prove the whale population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting, and says it has to kill the mammals to carry out its research properly. (…) Claire Bass, executive director for Humane Society International, said Japan had chosen to ignore the “universal opposition” represented by the ICJ ruling. “Once again we have Japan’s whaling fleet setting sail to commit a crime against nature,” she said in a statement, stressing “Japan’s long history of whale persecution.” Other conservationists called for another legal challenge. The International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Australian Marine Conservation Society said a panel of legal experts asked to consider Japan’s latest whaling mission had found it broke international law. “The panel concluded that Japan’s new whaling programme violates international law and that Australia or other countries still have options to challenge Japan’s actions before international courts,” said chair and Australian National University professor Donald Rothwell. (…) Atsushi Ishii, an expert on international relations at Japan’s Tohoku University, said Japan’s refusal to give up the Antarctic mission despite censure by the international court is largely due to a small group of powerful politicians. “Why resume whaling? Because a group of pro-whaling lawmakers don’t like the image that they succumbed to pressure from Sea Shepherd,” he told AFP, referring to an environmental group that has repeatedly clashed with Japanese whaling missions.”[23]

AFP: “The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said Japan’s whaling programme breaches several international conventions and legal action could be quickly set in motion. “The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea could be called upon to issue an injunction to stop the Japanese whalers… in as little as 14 days,” legal expert Tim Stephens said in a statement issued by IFAW. Greenpeace Australia-Pacific chief Steve Shallhorn said the pictures showed the world that the Japanese fleet was killing whales in a globally recognised sanctuary and did not care if they were mothers or infants. “Now that the Australian government has its own evidence of the whale hunt, we expect this to spur them to action at the International Whaling Commission and beyond,” Shallhorn said.”[24]

Patrick Ramage, director of the whales program for the International Fund for Animal Welfare: “Additional action is needed to encourage and persuade the government of Japan to reconcile itself to the emerging global consensus for whale conservation, instead of whale killing, in the name of science in the 21st century,” [25]

BBC News:  “US joins critics of Japan whaling. The US has added its voice to international criticism of Japan’s largest-ever whaling expedition. The UK, Australia and New Zealand have already urged Japan to call off this year’s hunt, which will target humpback whales for the first time in decades. Japan says the hunt is for scientific purposes and that the number of whales to be killed is too small to have a major impact on populations. US officials say non-lethal techniques could achieve the same research goals. The Japanese whaling fleet set sail on its five-month mission from the southern port of Shimonoseki on Sunday. It has instructions to kill up to 1,000 whales. As well as up to 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales, it will kill up to 50 humpback whales for the first time since a moratorium was introduced in the mid-1960s. The species had been hunted almost to extinction before the ban. (…) New Zealand’s Prime Minister Helen Clark said it would be better if the whaling fleet had stayed at home. She criticised “the guise, the deception, the claim that it is scientific whaling when they want to take 1,000 whales”. Mrs Clark added that it would be difficult for New Zealand to offer help if any of the ships got into trouble at sea. The Australian government has also expressed disapproval, saying it is “deeply disappointed” by the launch of the expedition. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said there was no evidence of Japan producing any data from its research. He said he had asked to see the Japanese ambassador but he ruled out deploying military defence forces, saying that Australia would not go to war with Japan over the issue. His comments followed a suggestion by the opposition Labor party that they would send the Australian navy to track the fleet if they were elected in the imminent elections. Britain has said it is considering high-level diplomatic action to protest against the hunt. A UK government spokeswoman said the humpback hunt was unnecessary and that it has “serious reservations as to its scientific value”. “We are committed to maintaining the moratorium on commercial whaling and will oppose all efforts by Japan to undermine this with so-called scientific whaling,” she said. [26]

CNN: “Just months after being told the country’s whaling expeditions in Antarctica must stop, Japan’s Prime Minister has riled activists by suggesting he will push for their resumption. On Monday, Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary committee he would like Japan to resume commercial whaling “in order to obtain scientific information indispensable to the management of the whale resources.” Japan suspended its southern hunt after a long-awaited ruling from the International Court of Justice in March found that its justification for the hunt lacked scientific rigor. (…) New Zealand backed the Australian legal challenge, and on Tuesday the country’s foreign minister, Murray McCully, described Abe’s comments as “worrying.” “While it is not clear precisely what Prime Minister Abe is proposing in the short term, the fact that he has told a Parliamentary Committee that he wants to aim towards the resumption of commercial whaling is both unfortunate and unhelpful,” McCully said in a statement. Anti-whaling activist Jeff Hansen, director of Sea Shepherd Australia, told CNN Abe’s comments were “not surprising, but definitely disappointing.” (…)  Abe told the parliamentary committee Japan demonstrated its respect for whales killed by holding a “religious service” for the culled mammals. “It is a pity that that part of Japanese culture is not understood by the international community,” he said. Japan claims that eating whale is one of its traditions, however consumption rates are falling, leading to large stockpiles of whale meat.”[27]


Evidence: Corruption and Attacks on activists

Greenpeace: “The Japanese whaling industry is sinking further and further into scandal, debt and corruption. Money meant for victims of the 2011 tsunami was siphoned off for the whalers, activists risked years in jail while officials took bribes and illegal meat and now even other countries are taking Japan to court. (…) But in recent years a more concentrated campaign focused in Japan has begun to see major change in the perception of the whaling programme at home, despite it coming at great risk and cost to campaigners who where threatened with 10 years in jail for exposing corruption in the whaling programme. It was not until after the Greenpeace campaigner’s conviction that the Fisheries Agency of Japan admitted that at least five officials had been involved in illegally taking whale meat as bribes and for profit. We are still waiting for the full scale investigation of the whale meat scandal.   We are also still waiting for the whaling industry to pay back to money it took from the 2011 tsunami relief fund. The Japanese whaling programme costs Japanese taxpayers 1.2 billion yen every year – that’s about €10 million or US$12 million – just in direct subsidies. It loses money every year and in 2011 US$30million was diverted by the government from the Fukushima recovery fund to pay off whaling industry debtors. In 2012, even more money was being promised to the whaling industry by the government of Japan, even though the number of whales caught is going down, sales have dropped 30% and the number of tonnes of old meat being stockpiled is going up. And if the government is not spending money on the whalers directly, it is spending money on buying membership and votes at the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Over the years numerous countries have joined the IWC after being coached and funded by Japanese government and whaling officials, in order to try to sway the decisions in favour of a resumption of commercial whaling.”[28]

Greenpeace: “Two Greenpeace activists, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, are now awaiting a verdict after a lengthy trial in Japan. The prosecutor has asked for them to be sent to jail for 18 months following their exposure of corruption in Japan’s whaling industry. Their case has been supported by Amnesty International, Nobel Laureates including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and celebrities like Bryan Adams and Benicio Del Torro. Known as the ‘Tokyo Two’, Junichi and Toru have been joined by over half a million voices from around the world since they were arrested 2 years ago. But now they need our help more than ever.”[29]

SBS News: “Environmental group Greenpeace warned that marine life it tested more than 20 kilometres off Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant showed radiation far above legal limits. The anti-nuclear group, which conducted the coastal and offshore tests this month, criticised Japanese authorities for their “continued inadequate response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis” sparked by the March 11 quake and tsunami. Greenpeace said it detected radiation levels in seaweed 50 times higher than official limits, which it charged raised “serious concerns about continued long-term risks to people and the environment from contaminated seawater“. It also said that tests, which it said were independently verified by French and Belgian laboratories, showed above-legal levels of radioactive iodine-131 and caesium-137 in several species of fish and shellfish. “Our data show that significant amounts of contamination continue to spread over great distances from the Fukushima nuclear plant,” said Jan Vande Putte, a Greenpeace radiation expert, at a Tokyo news conference.
(…) “Despite what the authorities are claiming, radioactive hazards are not decreasing through dilution or dispersion of materials, but the radioactivity is instead accumulating in marine life,” Vande Putte added. (…) Vande Putte accused Japan of doing to little to measure and share data on marine life contamination and said “Japan’s government is mistaken in assuming that an absence of data means there is no problem. “This complacency must end now, and (the government must) instead mount a comprehensive and continuous monitoring programme of the marine environment along the Fukushima coast, along with full disclosure of all information about both past and ongoing releases of contaminated water.[30]

Eben Harrell: “Tepco’s intentional dumping of 11,500 tons of less radioactive water continued Wednesday—leading to questions about whether Tepco was in violation of international law. Can a company really just dump atomic effluent into the ocean? In this case, the answer is probably yes. The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, to which Japan is a signatory, bans the dumping of pollution at sea. The London Convention, as it is known for short, includes a special provision for radioactive waste—if a suspected violation has occurred, the IAEA can be asked to complete a technical evaluation and review, which is then considered by a compliance group. But the convention contains a loophole: it only covers the dumping of waste from vessels, aircraft and other man-made structures at sea. It does not cover land-based discharges, as is occurring at Fukushima. That falls under national jurisdiction. Nonetheless, says David Santillo, a Greenpeace researcher at the University of Exeter in Britain, “The proposals to release such large quantities of radioactive waste from the Fukushima plant are likely to be viewed by other parties to the convention as something that should de facto be prohibited by the ban. If it is possible to install pumping equipment capable of transferring more than 10 000 m3 of contaminated water into the sea then it would seem reasonable to suggest that the same pumping equipment could be used to pump the water to a suitable containment vessel, thereby protecting both human health and the marine environment and allowing proper controlled treatment in due course. There are certainly some rumors circulating already that South Korea and other  countries will raise their concerns and objections.” So far, however, such objections have been raised through diplomatic, rather than legal, channels. The South Korean Foreign Ministry told AFP that it expressed concerns through its embassy in Japan that unleashing the contaminated water could infringe on international law and inquired about Tokyo’s next steps. Kyodo news agency reported that the concerns centered not around the 1972 London Convention but around the 1986 Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, which obligates nations to provide data such as the accident’s time, location and radiation releases to affected states when harmful trans-boundary radiation is released. Addressing this concern, Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto said at a press conference that Tokyo had briefed diplomatic corps in Japan on the start of radioactive water disposal hours before  Tepco began releasing the liquid into the Pacific Ocean on Monday evening.”[31]

CNN: “The Japanese government has affirmed that $29 million from its budget for post-earthquake and tsunami reconstruction is going toward extra security measures for the country’s whaling fleet, angering environmental activists like Greenpeace.  The whaling industry is “siphoning money away from the victims of the March 11 triple disaster, at a time when they need it most,” Junichi Sato, executive director of Greenpeace Japan, said this week, referring to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that struck Japan in March. (…)  The government had said earlier this year, after it passed the tsunami reconstruction budget, that it would strengthen “measures against acts of sabotage by anti-whaling groups,” Nakaoku said. The government earmarked a total of 498.9 billion yen ($6.4 billion) of the reconstruction budget for spending on fisheries. Of that, 2.28 billion yen has been put into extra security measures for the whaling fleet, which left port for its annual hunt Tuesday.”[32]

MARI YAMAGUCHI: “Japan’s fisheries agency has called Sea Shepherd a terrorist group for its militant actions.”[33]

ABC: “Two Japanese activists from the environmental group Greenpeace will face trial next week accused of trespass and stealing whale meat from a Japanese research ship. But in a blow to Japan’s judicial system, Lateline has obtained a UN report which defends the activists for acting in the public interest to prevent criminal embezzlement in the whaling industry.”[34]

JUNICHI SATO, GREENPEACE ACTIVIST: So we want this to show the real face of the whaling industry, how corrupted this whole industry is to the Japanese public.

AFP: “Dozens of protestors on Tuesday decried Japan’s prosecution of two anti-whaling activists facing 18 months in prison for snatching a case of whale meat. Holding up photos of the two men and a banner that read “Defending whales is a crime?” the protestors gathered signatures in downtown Montreal for a petition urging the activists’ release. It is to be sent to the Japanese government. Similar protests are planned for Vancouver, Germany, the United States, India, China and New Zealand, Greenpeace said. Japanese prosecutors earlier demanded 18-month jail terms for two Greenpeace activists on trial for committing theft and trespassing while investigating alleged embezzlement in the country’s whaling industry. Junichi Sato, 33, and Toru Suzuki, 43, are accused of stealing whale meat in 2008 from a delivery service depot in Japan’s northern Aomori prefecture. Eric Darrier, head of Greenpeace’s Quebec wing, read aloud a message from Sato in which he claimed he and Suzuki were detained without charge for 23 days, and tied to chairs and interrogated without their lawyers present. (…) The activists have not denied taking a more than 20-kilo (about 50-pound) box to use as evidence that whale meat from the state-funded expeditions was being embezzled, alleging that the salted parcels had been sent to crew members for personal consumption or sale.”[35]

Georgina Robinson: “Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki thought they had cracked Japan’s secretive whaling industry wide open. The activist pair had snatched from a shipping depot a 23-kilogram case of salted whale-meat cuts smuggled off the country’s flagship scientific whaling vessel, the Nisshin Maru. Mr Sato and Mr Suzuki reported their find to police and called a media conference, intending to expose what they alleged was a smuggling ring operating within Japan’s scientific research program. But a month later the pair, now known as the Tokyo Two, were arrested and detained for 26 days, during which time they were tied to chairs and interrogated, Mr Sato claims. They were eventually charged with theft and trespass. Japanese prosecutors have demanded 18-month jail terms.”[36]

ABC: “The Captain of the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling ship, the Steve Irwin, claims he has been shot by Japanese whalers during a confrontation in the Southern Ocean. Paul Watson says members of his crew threw stink bombs aboard the whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, and the Japanese responded by returning flash grenades. He says one of his crew was hit by a grenade and received minor injuries. Mr Watson says he then felt a thud in his chest and found a bullet lodged in his bullet-proof vest.  … but it also came through and I have this badge and it hit the badge and bent that too so it just left a bruise really on my chest – so it could have – if I wasn’t wearing the vest it could have been pretty serious, Mr Watson said. He says even before shots were fired, the Japanese whalers were acting recklessly in their confrontation. “We were doing what we usually do, which is putting stink bombs on deck,” he said. “We go out of our way to make sure we don’t throw them near anybody, but they were throwing the flash grenades directly at us.” Mr Watson says there is no justification for the whalers opening fire. “These people are criminals, they’re down here killing whales illegally in a place they’re not supposed to be.” “Why are there armed coast guard people attacking Australian citizens and other citizens in Australian Antarctic territory?”[37]

Captain Paul Watson from Sea Shepherd: “Japan argues that whaling is a cultural tradition practiced by the Japanese for centuries. As such they believe they have an inherent right to continue this tradition. But how traditional is it? There were a few isolated Japanese villages that had killed whales in the past, but Japan as a whole demonstrated very little interest in whaling until a man named Jura Oka made his way to Norway, the Azores and Newfoundland in the mid 1890’s to study whaling. He learned whaling and purchased the equipment from the Norwegians and modern whaling began in Japan in 1898. Thus the beginning of commercial whaling in Japan began long after the industry had been established in Europe and the Americas. That first year the first Japanese whaling company Hogei Gumi with one vessel the Saikai-maru killed a total of three whales. The harpooner and crew were hired Norwegians. The company failed and Oka started a new company the Nihon Enyo Gyogyo K.K. on July 20, 1899 in Yamaguchi. Again the company employed a Norwegian harpooner and crew. Norway was later to regret all the assistance they gave to Japan to learn whaling. One newspaper wrote this prediction: “Once the Japanese have appeared on the scene in any whaling ground, then the Norwegians will soon be banished from it!” Other whaling companies began and some failed but in 1908 the Nihon Hogeigyo Suisan Kumiai was established otherwise known as the Japanese Whaling Association with Jura Oka as the first President. This association in 1908 included 12 companies with a total of 28 whaling vessels and they killed 1,312 whales that year. The average kill for the next 25 years would be around 1,500 whales. Oka was as ruthless a visionary with regard to the whales as Hitler was to the Jews. “I am firmly convinced that we shall become one of the greatest whaling nations in the world. The day will come when we shall hear one morning that whales have been caught in the Arctic, and in the evening that whales are being hunted in the Antarctic.” He proudly boasted in 1910. The Japanese whalers operating between Japan and Korea were largely responsible for practically wiping out the Western Grey whale populations. By 1915 only 150 of these whales could be accounted for. Norway, Britain, the Netherlands and Germany were the largest whaling nations prior to World War II and they pursued the killing without regard to conservation. The 1930’s was the greatest decade of whale slaughter in history. In 1931, 37,438 Blue whales were massacred in the Southern Oceans. Japan sent its first ships to Antarctica in 1935. The sale of whale oil helped to finance the invasion of Manchuria and China. In 1937 alone, more than 55,000 whales were slaughtered yielding 3 million tons of animals. Because of the excessive takes, the Geneva Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was ratified in 1935. Germany and Japan refused to sign, refused to abide by quotas and effectively became the first two outlaw whaling nations. By 1939 Germany and Japan were taking 30% of the world’s whales. The Convention actually declared a Sanctuary for whales in Antarctica and called for complete protection of the Humpback whales, a species that many feared was close to extinction. Despite all the efforts to regulate whaling, whale kills doubled as more unregulated ships engaged in whaling. Luckily for the whales, humans turned to slaughtering each other in 1939 and this represented a 6 year reprieve from slaughter for the Cetacean nation. After the war, even the whaling nations could look back at the devastation they had inflicted on the whales in the 1930’s and the International Whaling Commission was formed as an attempt to save the industry from destroying itself. The war was the most significant conservation measure to stop the slaughter. One third of all whaling ships were destroyed in the conflict. Whaling did continue however and in the 1944-45 season, 6,000 whales were slaughtered. That number would begin to dramatically increase again after the war. According to American Secretary of State Dean Acheson in 1946, “The world’s whale stocks are a truly international resource in that they belong to no single nation, nor to a group of nations, but rather they are the wards of the entire world.” The problem was that there was one particular American who was a law onto himself in 1946 and that was the American Shogun of Japan, General Douglas MacArthur. The modern day pelagic whaling fleet of Japan is actually the creation of the United States. In 1946, General Douglas MacArthur proposed the creation of a Japanese whaling fleet to secure protein for the conquered Japanese people. He did so in order to cut down on the U.S. costs of transporting food to post war Japan. It was on August 6th, 1946 that MacArthur signed the directive authorizing two factory ships and twelve catcher boats to begin whaling in the Antarctic for the 1946-47 season. The deal was that Japan would get the meat and the oil would be turned over to the United States. The United States provided $800,000 in fuel for the ships and received over 4 million in whale oil in return. The two ships sent down to Antarctic waters were the Hashidate Maru and the Nishin Maru. This initial whaling venture was ordered by MacArthur without permission of the newly formed International Whaling Commission which means that the very first Japanese Antarctic whaling expedition was illegal. The ships carried American and Australian observers but they were not there to enforce conservation regulations. (…)Japan killed whales outside of the inspection and the regulations of the International Whaling Commission until they finally agreed to join in 1951. During that time the United States profited greatly from the sale of illegal whale oil. With the help of the United States they became the largest whaling operation in the world by the 1970’s. In a recent article in the New Zealand Herald, writer Lincoln Tan states that eating whale meat is part of Japan’s cultural heritage, “So an attack on whaling is seen as an attack on Japanese tradition.” This is the public relations approach the Japanese are using but it is not a fair one. Whaling was practiced by a very few remote Japanese villages as far back as the 16th Century but this traditional whaling was isolated, small and was carried out with nets from shore. Less than 1% of the Japanese people participated in whaling as consumers until 1908 and less than 10% participated as consumers until 1930. Today only a small percentage of Japanese people eat whale meat. The Chinese should never forget that it was profits from whale oil sold by Japan that provided the war chest to invade Manchuria and China and led to the Rape of Nanking. Modern whaling is a practice borrowed from the Norwegians because of a ruthless businessman named Jura Oka who hired Norwegians and bought Norwegian equipment to establish commercial whaling. There is nothing traditionally Japanese about modern whaling. Today Japan is leading an effort to slaughter more and more whales. Japanese whaling industry spokesman Joji Morishita has publicly stated that whaling is not about the money but about pride. Morishita vows that Japan will never surrender to the anti-whaling views of non-Japanese. The brutal killing of whales has become an icon for the Japanese identity. This is not unusual. Japan has always closely identified with blood and slaughter. From the decapitations by the Samurai upon innocent peasants to the suicidal insanity of the Kamikaze, violence and self destruction have been a part of Japanese culture. It is this killing, this willful slaughter not just of whales, but also of dolphins on Japanese beaches that has become almost ritualistic and it is this ritualistic slaughter that is traditional. “We kill therefore we are” is the best way of viewing this identity and it is not a healthy perspective. Japanese history has already demonstrated in fire and blood just how unhealthy this perspective really is. The Japanese say that we must respect their culture. I can only respond by asking why? What is it about Japanese culture we MUST respect.? We can choose to respect the tea ceremony and rightfully so. We can choose to respect origami, ikebana, bonsai, No plays, sumo, Zen and Shintoism. We can choose not to respect seppuku, class inequality, kamikaze’s and the slaughter of whales and dolphins. No European, Asian, African or Australian is under a cultural imperative to accept inhumane slaughter and blood sports. All human beings have a right to disrespect killing of any kind without being condemned or vilified for it. Japanese defenders of whaling have actually accused whale defenders of being racists for opposing the killing of whales. The opposition of the killing of anything cannot be dismissed as racist. There is no racial or cultural justification for slaughter. None. Especially for a practise that is not, and has never been a tradition.”[38]


Violation of the Rights of Non-Human Beings

Universal Declaration on the Rights of Non-Human Beings: Denouncing the fact that political leaders, businessmen and religious people often ignore that all living beings have rights and not just the human being, especially ignoring mammals with high consciousness, as are the case of primates and cetaceans, since chimpanzees, gorillas, dolphins and whales can be perfectly identified as non-human persons or subjects; Emphasizing that the concept of person is not synonymous with being human, but with a subject with legal rights; (…)Appreciating the enormous scientific evidences that demonstrate the self-consciousness and advanced intelligence of non-human animals, as it is the case of chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants; (…)Distinguishing that the Government of India has banned to have dolphins in captivity for commercial or entertainment purposes, publicly considering dolphins as non-human persons and intelligent and sensitive beings; (…)Redefining ecocide as a crime against nature in which the rights of plants, animals, ecosystems and the Mother Earth are violated; (…)Article 25 – Animals have the right to existence, non-extinction, respect, tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the different species. Article 26 – Animals have the right to fully develop their existential potential, integrity and health, exercising their senses, imagination, thought, emotions and satisfaction. Article 27 – Animals have the right to protect their ecosystems and not to be expelled from their natural environments. (…)Article 31 – Animals have the right not to be considered as an object, merchandise or private property of any individual, company or State. Article 32 – Animals have the right not to be exploited by industrial farms or to die in slaughterhouses, which function similarly to concentration and extermination camps with a magnitude and a method of massacre similar to Nazism, therefore such institutions that devalue life must be abolished. (…)Article 34 – Animals have the right not to be captured or to be in captivity or servitude, where they become physically and psychologically ill. (…)Article 36 – Animals have the right to receive compassionate and non-cruel treatment toward any of the existing species. Article 37 – Animals have the right to solidarity and to physical and psychological well-being. Article 38 – Animals have the right that their conscience and intelligence are respected, even if they are not similar to human consciousness and intelligence, since animal intelligence is not less evolved but it is simply different from human intelligence.   (…)Article 44 – Advanced animals, such as dolphins, have the right that their ability to maintain their own language is recognized; even being able to conduct conversations based on the emission of sounds that vary in frequency, volume and spectrum, which means the ability to form words within the context of grammatical meanings and structures, indicating the supreme level of intelligence and awareness of this type of cetaceans. Article 45 – Animals, especially species such as primates and cetaceans, have the right to be considered as non-human persons. Article 46 – Animals like primates and cetaceans have the right that their minds, personalities, languages and cultures are respected. (…)Article 49 – Animals have the right that their cognitive microcircuits that are homologous to human emotions and self-recognition are respected, being the case of large mammals such as primates, dolphins and elephants, but also being the case of birds such as magpies.


[1] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-reese-halter/japanese-ocean-killers-sl_b_5799288.html

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/31/japan-hunts-small-cetaceans-whale-dolphin-porpoise-not-sustainable

[3] https://inhabitat.com/whales-and-dolphins-face-extinction-because-japan-uses-obsolete-hunting-data/

[4] http://gwynnedyer.com/2007/ecocide-in-the-oceans/

[5] https://carlsafina.org/2007/11/27/more-of-japans-crimes-against-nature/

[6] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/weekinreview/25revkin.html?_r=1&ref=science&oref=slogin.

[7] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-reese-halter/the-global-war-against-na_b_4512676.html

[8] http://theconversation.com/whales-in-court-australia-v-japan-in-the-hague-15540

[9] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/23/sea-shepherd-loses-antarctic-battle-japan-whale-hunters

[10] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jan/15/photos-japanese-whalers-killing-minke-sanctuary-says-sea-shepherd

[11] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/31/japan-kills-whales-annual-antarctic-hunt

[12] http://www.dw.com/en/how-does-japan-get-away-with-horrific-whale-hunting/a-41596992

[13] http://www.dw.com/en/how-does-japan-get-away-with-horrific-whale-hunting/a-41596992

[14] http://www.dw.com/en/australia-protests-as-japan-resumes-whaling/a-18925962

[15] http://www.dw.com/en/japan-world-must-agree-to-disagree-on-whaling/a-18899207

[16] https://news.un.org/en/story/2014/03/465062-un-court-rules-against-japans-whaling-activities-antarctic

[17] https://inhabitat.com/scientific-japanese-expedition-murders-hundreds-of-pregnant-whales-in-violation-of-international-law/

[18] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-whaling-scientific-minke-whales-kill-four-months-333-eu-countries-animal-rights-conservation-a8116106.html

[19] https://www.positive.news/2014/environment/conservation/15154/environmentalists-celebrate-japan-whaling-ban/

[20] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/12022369/Japan-to-resume-Antarctic-whale-hunt-despite-ICJ-ruling.html

[21] https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/world/europe/united-nations-court-rules-against-japan-in-whaling-dispute.html

[22] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-28/japan-to-resume-antarctic-whaling/6983440

[23] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/japan-fleet-sets-out-on-whale-hunt-amid-crime-against-nature-outcry#GsQkoJOKOJLGcZEp.97


[25] https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/international-whaling-conference-votes-against-japan-s-antarctic-hunt-1.2012597

[26] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7101829.stm

[27] http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/10/world/asia/japan-whaling-abe/index.html

[28] https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/campaigns/oceans/fit-for-the-future/whaling/japanese-whaling/

[29] https://www.greenpeace.org/archive-international/en/campaigns/oceans/whaling/ending-japanese-whaling/End-whaling-NOW/

[30] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/radioactive-sea-life-off-japan-greenpeace

[31] http://science.time.com/2011/04/06/fukushima-dumping-a-violation-of-international-law/

[32] http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/08/world/asia/japan-whaling-funds/index.html

[33] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/16/sea-shepherd-activists-pr_n_823884.html

[34] http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/tokyo-two-set-to-face-trial/324406


[36] http://www.smh.com.au/environment/whale-watch/whaling-protesters-demand-release-of-tokyo-two-20100609-xv35.html

[37] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-03-07/sea-shepherd-captain-shot-by-japanese-whalers/1065780

[38] https://dickrussell.org/2006/06/27/the-truth-about-traditional-japanese-whaling/







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