World Oceans Day is a day for us to celebrate our seas and a time for us to honour ocean heroes across the planet. But today - as the trial of two of our anti-whaling campaigners came to an end in Japan - the prosecution asked for Junichi and Toru to be jailed for 18 months.
This is an outrageous politically motivated request considering they are innocent. If imposed this would be the longest jail term for any Greenpeace activist - ever.
Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki,known as Tokyo 2, now is demanded a prison term of one year and six months for theft and trespass.
In support, inflatable whales were released by Greenpeace in Beijing Longtan Park, symbolizing freedom for Junichi and Toru, and for the whales. In Hong Kong, Greenpeace also invited the public to stick images of the activists on an banner shaped like a giant whale. A petition letter has been sent to the Embassy of Japan in Beijing and the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong to express concern towards the case.
Inflatable whales were released by Greenpeace in Beijing Longtan Park, symbolizing freedom for Junichi and Toru, and for the whales.
Activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki exposed a major corruption scandal surrounding the Japanese government-sponsored whaling program in May 2008. They reported their findings with the intention to raise awareness to whaling, but were prosecuted in the end.
A young girl in Hong Kong helps to decorate a banner calling for justice for the Tokyo Two and the whales.
The whales of the Southern Ocean suffered a 90% decrease in biomass during large scale whaling there from 1910 to 1987. Some individual species, like the blue whales, suffered a 99% decrease and even after 40 years of protection show no appreciable recovery. Whaling is practiced by the Japanese there, excusing it is for "scientific research", while the International Whaling Commission has banned commercial whaling in 1986. 506 minke whales and 1 fin whale (total of 2045 tonne of whale meat) were caught by Japan from the recent Southern Ocean whaling program in the Nov,2009 to April 2010 season.
Demand justice for the Tokyo Two and the whales.
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