Greenpeace Calls for Justice to Whales to Japanese Consulate General in Hong Kong

Press release - 2009-02-13
Greenpeace activists locked in wooden handcuffs with a painted whale express concerns to the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong today over illegal whaling by the Japanese in the Southern Ocean and hand a letter to the Consulate.

Greenpeace activists locked in wooden handcuffs with a painted whale express concerns to the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong today over illegal whaling by the Japanese in the Southern Ocean and hand a letter to the Consulate.

Concerns are also expressed to the first formal court hearing in preparation for the trial of two Greenpeace activists.

In May 2008, Greenpeace activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki exposed a major corruption scandal surrounding the Japanese government-sponsored whaling programme. They reported their findings with the intention of raising awareness to whaling, but being prosecuted in the end, and may risk up to ten years in jail if convicted.

"That is total absurd for 2 men to suffer ten years in jail just because they expose a scandal to safeguard our oceans and the habitats which depend on it." Greenpeace Campaign Manager Edward Chan criticized." If the Japanese government is going to unfairly prosecute the two activists for exposing the scandal and corruption of the whaling industry, they will have to face everyone that supports an end to the whale hunt."

More than 250,000 of global supporters sent protest emails to the Japanese prime minister, asking for the release of the Greenpeace activists.

Over-hunting of whales has made 7 of the 13 great whale species endangered or vulnerable, including the Humpback whales and Minke whales. In Japan, the largest whaling country in the world, claims whaling as 'scientific research'. 6778 Minke whales were killed in the past 18 years but no scientific research is yet being put on the table.

A research by the Nippon Research Center in 2006 showed that 95% of Japanese never or rarely eat whale meat and 69% of Japanese do not support whaling in the Southern Ocean.

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