We Love Japan, But Whaling Breaks Our Hearts

Feature story - 14 February, 2007
Greenpeace activists took to the streets across the globe on Valentine's Day to send a message of love to Japan from 28 different countries, while at the same time demanding the government end high seas whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Greenpeace manga-girl Stina met the head secretary of the Japanese embassy in snowy Stockholm, but only if the "potentially dangerous" flowers were left outside the gates. We delivered our message - we love Japan, but whaling is meaningless and breaks our hearts.

In Tokyo, Greenpeace volunteers carried a giant Valentine's card, addressed

to pro-whaling members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC),

currently meeting to discuss "normalising" the Commission, which read:

"Normalization Means Protection, Not Whaling". Check it out on Ocean Defenders TV ("To Japan, With Love").

A fax was also sent to the Nisshin Maru - the factory ship of the whaling fleet, which read:

"We Love Japan, but Whaling Breaks Our Hearts! 69 percent of your fellow Japanese do not support what you are doing in the Sanctuary and there is virtually no market for what you are producing. The "research" you have been ordered to carry out is not wanted by scientists and the meat is not wanted by the Japanese people. On this Valentine's Day, a day for spreading love we ask once again that you leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and return to port."

Elsewhere, flowers, hearts, chocolates, kisses, whale-watching discounts and romantic gondola trips were delivered by Greenpeace activists to embassies and tourists in France, Germany, Chile, Italy, Australia, Argentina, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Fiji, Guatemala, Greece, New Zealand, Spain, Russia, Uruguay, Ireland and the US. (Check out the happy snaps from around the world!)

To Japan, with love

"This is not just frivolous fun. We want to send a clear message that we are not anti Japanese, we simply oppose whaling," said Junichi Sato, whales campaign leader in Greenpeace Japan. "We know that 69 percent of Japanese do not support what their government is doing in the Southern Ocean and 95 percent never or rarely eat whale meat. Whaling does not belong in the 21st century and the only way forward for the IWC is to start working for the whales and not the whalers," Sato added.

Our ship the Esperanza is in the Southern Ocean right now, pursuing the whaling fleet.  But you can campaign with us - take action now at whales.greenpeace.org.

Send a Valentine!

Send a Valentine to a friend and show your love for the whales!

Ship's weblog

Keep up with the crew and get all the news from on the ground in Tokyo