Greenpeace activists protested the ongoing jail sentence served by fellow activists in Japan. The event took place in front of the Japanese embassy in Ottawa. Greenpeace is demanding the release of the two activist and investigations into the real criminal scandal involving stolen whale meat and the Japanese government-backed industry.
Greenpeace today peacefully demonstrated in front of the Japanese Embassy in Ottawa to demand justice for two Greenpeace activists who have been unnecessarily detained in Japan for exposing a major scandal involving whale meat.
The demonstration at 255 Sussex Drive in Ottawa was part of a series of peaceful protests at some 20 Japanese embassies around the world calling for the immediate release of Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki.
In addition to the demonstrations, Greenpeace is encouraging people to send emails of protest to the Japanese government. So far, more than 180,000 emails have been sent to the Japanese Government calling for the release of the activists, dubbed the Tokyo Two.
The demonstration at 255 Sussex Drive in Ottawa was part of a
series of peaceful protests at some 20 Japanese embassies around
the world calling for the immediate release of Junichi Sato and
In addition to the demonstrations, Greenpeace is encouraging
people to send emails of protest to the Japanese government. So
far, more than 180,000 emails have been sent to the Japanese
Government calling for the release of the activists, dubbed the
In Ottawa, Greenpeace representatives delivered a letter to the
Japanese Ambassador to Canada, Tsuneo Nishida, from the Executive
Director in Canada, Bruce Cox, calling for the immediate release of
Sato and Suzuki. A petition signed by thousands of Canadians who
support the call for their release was also delivered. The letter
urges Ambassador Nishida to intercede with his government on behalf
of the Greenpeace activists in Japan.
The Oceans Coordinator for Greenpeace Canada, Beth Hunter,
attended the protest and said:"Sato and Suzuki are courageous
individuals who acted to expose a fraud. They must be released
From behind bars
Thank you everyone for your support and vigilance over the last
days. Thank you to the 185,000 of you who have sent the email to
the Japanese Government asking for our release, and those of you
who have sent it to their friends. We have heard from our lawyers
about how many emails have been sent, and it reminds us that we are
not alone. Thank you also those who mounted peaceful protests and
vigils at Japanese Embassies around the world calling for justice
for myself and Toru and justice for the whales.' It helps us to
know that so many are thinking of us and of the fate of the
We STILL need your help. We have been ordered
to remain in custody for a total of 23 days -- the maximum allowed
under Japanese law --without being charged with any crime.
Please encourage your friends to send an email if they have not
already. Keep watching for news from Greenpeace of more actions you
can take and make sure that the global demand for our release and
to investigate the whale meat scandal we exposed, is heard loud and
clear here in Japan.
With hope and thanks.
Junichi Sato, Whale Campaign Coordinator Greenpeace
July 3, 2008Ten More Days Custody Without Charge for Greenpeace
Japanese police conducted an unprecedented raid on Greenpeace's
Japanese headquarters in Tokyo and on the homes of activists
earlier this month. They arrested activists Sato and Suzuki for
exposing an embezzlement ring at the heart of the Japanese
government's so-called scientific whaling program. The police raids
came on the eve of the meeting of the International Whaling
Commission in Chile at which Japan again campaigned for a
resumption of commercial whaling.
Take Action - Help free the Greenpeace
Japan continues to skirt the international moratorium on whaling
by giving itself a special permit to kill about 1,000 whales a
Before the police raid, Sato and Suzuki had cooperated with
Japanese police, offered them information and provided a box of
whale meat as evidence to officials that there is an ongoing
operation to illegally sell whale meat at the expense of Japanese
After a four-month investigation, Greenpeace asked the Japanese
government for a full investigation. The Tokyo public prosecutor
initially said there was sufficient evidence for an investigation
but ruled out an inquiry after the police raids. Greenpeace
provided Ambassador Nishida with a dossier on the investigation by
Sato and Suzuki.
Cox said in his letter to Ambassador Nishida that: "The
unnecessary detention of Greenpeace activists for exposing
corruption in whaling along with the Japanese whaling program in
the Southern Ocean have brought global attention to Japan, casting
a dark shadow over the international reputation of your Government,
just days before you host the G8 ministers meeting.
"It is a fundamental element of democracy that the rights of
whistleblowers who expose scandals be protected.
"We ask you to make urgent representation to your Prime Minister
on this issue and ask for a further investigation into the scandal
exposed by Greenpeace and for the immediate release of Sato and
Greenpeace International Executive Director Gerd Leipold.has
said: "The response by the Japanese authorities can only be
described as excessive, unjust and politically motivated. Junichi
and Toru provided statements to the police about their activities
when they exposed the whale meat embezzlement ring within the
Japanese Whaling fleet. At the time they offered their full
cooperation for any investigation, yet they are now being held
without charge and without bail.