11 thoughts on “US religious right supports Japanese whale killers

  1. http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2010/03/08/132201_todays-news.html

    March 9, 2010 08:04am

    Whaling mafia claim


    March 08, 2010 09:09am

    SEA Shepherd’s Paul Watson has accused Japanese whaling of being controlled by organised crime gangs.
    Captain Watson and crew members from the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker were given a heroes’ welcome at a reception in Hobart’s Salamanca Place yesterday, in stark contrast to a raid by Australian Federal Police on Saturday.

    The crews of both vessels were detained in the raid while documents, video footage and other material were seized as a result of complaints from the Japanese whaling fleet.

    An AFP spokesman said investigations were continuing.

    It is unclear whether any charges will be laid.

    Capt Watson told the more than 100 supporters at yesterday’s reception he hoped to be charged.

    “I want to take this whole thing into an Australian court and expose everything that is going on all the illegal activities of the Japanese whaling fleet,” he said.

    “In six campaigns we have not been charged with a single criminal offence, we have not injured a single person, we are not eco-terrorists, whatever that means, and we are certainly not criminals.”

    Capt Watson said the whaling industry was controlled by the notorious Yakuza organised crime network in Japan.

    “Not many people realise that this is a mafia-controlled industry. And the best evidence I have for that: they have never denied it,” he said.

    Fellow Sea Shepherd member Pete Bethune is being held on the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru 2 after he climbed aboard to request $3 million to replace the sunk Ady Gil, which sank after a collision with the whaler in January.

    Japan plans to arrest Capt Bethune when the ship returns to Tokyo on Friday, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, quoting anonymous sources.

    Greens senator Bob Brown attacked the Federal Government for bowing to pressure from the Japanese and for failing to provide diplomatic assistance to Capt Bethune.

    “In Parliament this week I will be asking the Federal Government to make public all correspondence with the Japanese,” Senator Brown said.

    “Kevin Rudd says this is a police matter but it is not it is political. For some reason Australia doesn’t want to offend Tokyo when Tokyo seems quite happy to offend 20 million Australians.”

    The Steve Irwin is expected to leave Hobart on March 16 to pursue bluefin tuna poachers in the Mediterranean.

    AFP officers were instructed to remove the flag of Togo from the Bob Barker, leaving it without a registered home port. Capt Watson said the vessel would remain in Hobart until it was reregistered under a new flag.


  2. Japan defends dolphin hunt in Oscar-winning ‘Cove’

    Fishing boats leave a port of the southwestern Japanese town of Taiji, Monday morning, March 8, 2010. The Japanese fishing village featured in ‘The Cove’ defended Monday its practice of hunting dolphins as a part of its tradition. (AP / Koji Sasahara)

    By: The Associated Press

    Date: Mon. Mar. 8 2010 6:17 AM ET

    TAIJI, Japan — The Japanese fishing village featured in “The Cove,” which won an Oscar for best documentary, defended its practice of hunting dolphins Monday as a part of its tradition.

    The covertly filmed movie, which mixes stunning underwater shots of gliding dolphins with grisly footage of their slaughter, also claims that dolphin meat is laden with toxic mercury.

    Residents of this remote village nestled on the rocky coast of southwestern Japan expressed disgust at the film, which they said distorted the truth, though few acknowledged seeing it in its entirety.

    The mayor’s office handed out a statement that said Taiji’s dolphin hunt is lawful and argued that the movie contained statements that were not based on science. Otherwise, most town officials refused to talk.

    “There are different food traditions within Japan and around the world,” the statement read. “It is important to respect and understand regional food cultures, which are based on traditions with long histories.”

    Director Louie Psihoyos said “The Cove” isn’t meant to bash Japan but that it is “a love letter to the Japanese people.”

    “Our hope is the Japanese people will see this film and decide themselves whether animals should be used for meat and for entertainment,” Psihoyos said backstage after receiving the Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

    The town of Taiji kills about 2,000 dolphins every year for their meat. Some are captured and sold to aquariums.

    The Japanese government, which allows about 19,000 dolphins to be killed each year, acknowledges that dolphin meat is contaminated with mercury, but denies it’s dangerous unless consumed in huge quantities.

    In September, amid an international outcry following the screening of the movie abroad, villagers released several dozen dolphins that had been caught. But locals say they will continue with the hunt.

    The movie has not yet been released in Japan, but it will start showing here in June at 20 to 30 theaters nationwide. It was shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October, where viewers gave it mixed reviews.

    Still, most Japanese don’t know about the annual dolphin hunt, and dolphin meat is hardly eaten in Japan.

    Takeshi Kato, president of Unplugged in Tokyo, which is distributing the film in Japan, said the faces of dozens of Taiji residents are being blurred out for the Japan version of “The Cove” to ward off possible lawsuits under Japanese law that protects privacy.

    “Our purpose is not to attack the people of Taiji,” he said.

    “If this movie can serve as an opportunity for people to find out, it would be great,” he told The Associated Press Monday.

    He said he hopes the film will help open the debate in Japan on preserving nature, including dolphins and whales.

    “Receiving the top award in the movie industry will work as a big plus for our efforts to show this movie in Japan,” he said.

    Two Japanese who appear in the film — a local councilman and a scientist based in northern Japan — expressed disappointment in how they were portrayed in the film, and said they were interviewed under false pretenses. Both say they have asked the filmmakers to remove footage of them from the movie.

    Psihoyos was unable to get permission to access the cove where the dolphins are killed. Fishermen blocked it with barbed wire and fences. So he and his film team secretly broke into the restricted area — which is in a national park — at night to set up cameras that capture the slaughter.

    The movie’s star is Ric O’Barry, the dolphin trainer for the 1960s “Flipper” TV show, who over the last decades has been campaigning for the release of dolphins around the world from captivity.

    Various numbers in the film such as mercury levels in dolphin meat are also being contested. In the Japanese version, words that show up as subtitles are being added at the end of the movie to tell viewers that research may produce various results.

    Japanese government officials also defended the fishermen’s right to hunt dolphins and called the film unbalanced.

    “There are some countries that eat cows, and there are other countries that eat whales or dolphins,” said Yutaka Aoki, fisheries division director at Foreign Ministry. “A film about slaughtering cows or pigs might also be unwelcome to workers in that industry.”


  3. Avatar star Michelle Rodriguez joins fight to save the whales in Southern Ocean

    * From: The Daily Telegraph
    * November 19, 2010 12:00AM

    * Star joins Sea Shepherd fleet in W.A.
    * Actress is learning the ropes for life at sea
    * Due to set sail for Antartica in eco- fight

    SHE is known for her tough chick roles, but Michelle Rodriguez’s latest gig might be her roughest yet.

    The actress has boarded the Sea Shepherd’s flagship boat Steve Irwin in Fremantle this week as part of the Operation No Compromises campaign.

    Rodriguez, who starred as a no-nonsense pilot in James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar, is spending a week at sea learning the ins and outs of life on a ship as part of her quest to save whales off Antarctica.

    Due to arrive in Hobart on Monday, the vessel will stock up on supplies before heading to the Southern Ocean next month.

    “She’s learning all different roles on the ship – up on deck or in the bridge, to see what she likes and what she’s good at for future trips,” one of the crew told The Daily Telegraph.

    Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
    Related Coverage

    * Whaling ship rammed us, say protesters Herald Sun, 7 Feb 2010
    * ‘Whalers circled ship like a pack of sharks’ NEWS.com.au, 6 Feb 2010
    * Anti-whaler’s hull gashed open Perth Now, 6 Feb 2010
    * Ady Gil abandoned and leaking oil – Japan NEWS.com.au, 8 Jan 2010
    * First shots as whaling war erupts NEWS.com.au, 16 Dec 2009

    End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

    The star’s trip might not all be plain sailing. The Sea Shepherd fleet violently clashed with Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean earlier this year with the environmental organisation’s Captain Paul Watson accusing the whalers of putting lives at risk.

    “We understand what the risks are. We’re in a very difficult situation. The Japanese can kill and injure us and their government will defend and justify anything they do,” Watson previously told The Age.

    ”We now have a real whale war on our hands.”



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