Greenpeace has been campaigning for over 30 years to strive for the full protection of the world’s whales. We apply political, legal and public pressure – both within Japan and around the world – to ensure commercial whaling is brought to an end once and for all.
In recent years, we’ve increased our efforts within Japan, where the decision to end whaling will ultimately be made. We’re working on the ground to expose the problems of whaling, including the lie of “scientific” whaling, and to mobilise Japanese citizens to oppose their government’s corrupt program.
Toru Suzuki and Junichi Sato are the ‘Tokyo Two’ – the Japanese whaling activists who endured two and a half years of political persecution for exposing corruption in the Japanese whaling industry. Junichi and Toru were handed a one-year jail term, suspended for three years – despite the United Nations finding the activists acted in the public’s best interest. The Tokyo Two are currently appealing their conviction, and defending their right to speak out and protect the world’s whales. Their appeal will be heard in the Sendai High Court on May 24, 2011.
We also work behind the scenes to encourage Japanese retailers not to sell whale meat. Successfully, one of the biggest supermarkets in Japan has agreed to not sell whale meat – pushing the stockpiles of unsold whale meat to record highs. Late in December 2010 the Japanese Government for the first time admitted to corruption in the whaling industry. This momentous admission is vindication that the Tokyo Two’s work and personal sacrifices are paying off. The Tokyo Two’s case has been instrumental in raising awareness and opposition within Japan to the government’s corrupt whaling program.
In addition, we’re working to transform the International Whaling Commission (IWC) into a true whale conservation body. Greenpeace is working around the world to increase political pressure on Japan and to close the loopholes in the IWC that allow whaling to continue. We also highlight the vote-buying by Japan that keeps these loopholes in existence.
Today, whaling is no longer the only threat to whales. The oceans have changed dramatically. Known environmental threats to whales such as climate change and overfishing critically threatens the food supply of whales. Greenpeace is campaigning for a global network of marine reserves that will cover 40% of the world’s oceans and protect whales from the numerous threats they face. We’re also campaigning for an end to destructive industrial fishing techniques and a prevention of dangerous climate change.