Why would we believe the whaling industry when it says it is innocent? The institutions behind the Japanese whaling operation have apparently now investigated themselves and cleared themselves of any wrongdoing over the whale meat embezzlement scandal exposed by Greenpeace in May.
Can we trust the whalers when they say they're innocent?
When those guilty of a crime investigate themselves it's hardly
surprising that they arrive at the conclusion they are innocent.
When Greenpeace first exposed the long-held practice by whaling
crew of Japan's so-called research whaling operation of smuggling
prime whale meat cuts off the whaling factory ship, the Nisshin
Maru, and selling it for their own profit, the responses from those
involved the Japanese Government's whaling programme were many and
Kyodo Senpaku changed their story three times in almost as many
days? Indeed, before the scandal was exposed, an official of the
Japanese Fisheries Agency claimed that whale meat was never given
Finally the Fisheries Agency of Japan, the Institute of Cetacean
Research (ICR) and the whaling company itself, Kyodo Senpaku, came
out with a coordinated
response to our findings. It's an extraordinary piece of work
- even calling Greenpeace "malicious".
But the statement raises far more questions than it answers
(well actually it doesn't answer anything).
- They claim that the whale meat being smuggled off was a "gift",
purchased by Kyodo Senpaku from the "Research" arm of the
Government, the ICR. Where is the receipt?
- Why were these so-called "gifts" labelled as "cardboard"? If
you've got a box of whale meat, and it has been given to you by
your company, would you label the box as "cardboard"? You also
wouldn't cover it up with a layer of dirty clothes. What were
they trying to hide?
- The company says that each crew member receives 9.5kg of whale
meat - this would amount to two tonnes of prime whale meat - if it
can afford such expensive gifts to crewmembers, why does it need to
get a huge Japanese taxpayer subsidy each year?
- Greenpeace's investigation revealed that at least 23 crew
members sent 93 boxes of "personal baggage" to 30 different
destinations. None seem to have been labelled as "whale meat" -
they had a variety of different labels, such as "plastic stuff".
Strangely, we could find no boxes which were actually labelled as
whale meat. How did the rest of the crew transport their free
whale meat, paid for by the taxpayer?
- Why were NONE of the boxes marked "whale meat"? Everything
Greenpeace uncovered in the investigation matches the descriptions
given to us by the whistleblowers who came to us with their
concerns about what was happening in the whaling fleet.
- Why would these whistleblowers who approached us take such a
high risk if they were simply making up the stories?
Then there's the freight company
- Why did the freight company not report any missing box until
after we revealed our investigations in a press conference, weeks
after the activists had intercepted it at the depot in Aomori. If a
box goes missing, surely one would expect it to be reported
The biggest question remaining,
though, is this:
- Why did the Prosecutor investigating the case drop suddenly
drop his enquiries - on the very day that the police arrested our
The investigation needs to be re-opened. No question. This is
not the end of this matter.
It is not the end for Junichi and Toru, who are waiting trial
having been charged with theft and trespass for bringing this
scandal to public attention. It is not the end for the taxpayers
who must be wondering why they are funding a so-called research
whaling that supplies no science, whale meat that few want to eat
and 'expensive gifts' for the whaling fleet crew.
Contact the Prosecutor about the real scandal
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