Last edited 1 January 1970 at 1:00am

Unjust sentence for Tokyo Two

Posted by jamie — 6 September 2010 at 10:12am - Comments

Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, two Greenpeace activists known as the Tokyo Two, exposed widespread corruption in Japan's whaling programme, yet in return, they have been handed a one year suspended prison sentence.

Tokyo Two: whaling, activism and human rights

Posted by jamie — 3 September 2010 at 10:54am - Comments

Junichi (right) and Toru (left) working on their defence during their trial (c) Sutton-Hibbert/Greenpeace

Two years ago, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki exposed a scandal involving government corruption entrenched within the tax-payer funded Japanese whaling industry. They are on trial for theft and trespass, and are awaiting the verdict due this coming Monday.

This will be the first blog Toru and I have written together, as up until recently our heavy bail restrictions have meant that we could not be in the same room or even talk to each other without a lawyer present.

The verdict in our trial is approaching, and on Monday 6 September we will know what our fate is. We don't really know what the result would be, all we know now is that it is going to show the status of Japanese democracy. It's a long way from where it was when this case started - our investigation  to end Japan's whaling.

Tourists invited to try their hand at whaling in Iceland?

Posted by Willie — 17 August 2010 at 10:08am - Comments

Is this the kind of whale watching Icelandic whalers are considering? © Greenpeace/Axelsson

I've long since given up trying to apply any semblance of logic to the arguments for whaling, and the latest news from Iceland doesn't prove me wrong.

Are whales negotiable for our new government?

Posted by Willie — 8 July 2010 at 12:00pm - Comments
Icelandic whalers at work

Yesterday, a resolution was passed in the European Parliament welcoming Iceland's application to join the EU. Iceland's application raises some interesting questions, especially in the light of recent divisions within the EU on environmental issues.

On fishing, for example, Iceland famously has control over its own waters, would it be prepared to let other EU vessels have free access? It's gone to (cod) war over the issue before… and then there are whales. In the EU all cetacean species (that's whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected species under the Habitats Directive. So it's a no brainer that whaling is 'not allowed' in the EU. Moreover, the EU member states take a common position and vote as a bloc when it comes to international bodies like the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and CITES.

Failed whales: status quo remains at IWC

Posted by jamie — 24 June 2010 at 11:45am - Comments

Karli Thomas, Greenpeace oceans campaigner, writes from the IWC meeting in Morocco.

The town of Sidi R'bat on Morocco's Atlantic coast is where the biblical Jonah is said to have been vomited up by a whale. Less than 100km from that spot, something has been going on this week that is again enough to make a whale sick to the stomach.

The International Whaling Commission has been meeting this year beneath a dark cloud of scandal. As delegates descended on the city of Agadir, media headlines exposed Japan 'buying' countries to vote with them - including the accusation that airfares and accommodation for this meeting's acting chairman were paid by Japan. Hardly an auspicious start to a crucial international meeting, nor a good omen for the whales.

Why Greenpeace won't compromise on commercial whaling

Posted by Willie — 21 June 2010 at 11:53am - Comments

As the International Whaling Commission (IWC)'s annual meeting begins in Morocco, there has been a flurry of media coverage over a possible 'deal' or 'compromise'. Often the details, and sometimes the central points, can get lost as things are translated, edited, reworked and re-edited for the media, so I wanted to take the opportunity here to spell out just what Greenpeace's position is.

This meeting is causing a stir because there is the possibility of some sort of deal to address the future of the IWC. Reform has been a long time coming, and everyone agrees that the IWC needs an overhaul. The current deadlock means that the Commission is effectively stymied from taking on the serious conservation work that is so desperately needed. And, of course, we have the deplorable situation of a global ban on commercial whaling being flouted by Japan, Norway and Iceland.

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