The Greenpeace ship Esperanza, which has sailed nearly 7,000 miles from the Southern Ocean to Japan was finally allowed to berth in Yokohama, near Tokyo, this morning after waiting for 10 days for permission to dock.
Originally the international environmentalorganisation’s ship was effectively banned from Japan after the actions of theAll Japan Seamen’s Union resulted in the only ship’s agent willing to work withGreenpeace, formally withdrawing their services.
Since March 27th, Greenpeace has beenworking to independently get entry into Japan, and was finally allowed toanchor off shore in the port of Yokohama five days ago.
This morning, the Esperanza sailed into the port anddocked, after successfully completing exhaustive inspections of the ship andits paperwork by customs, coastguard and port authority officials.
“All along we have said we have nothing to hide andhave simply come to Japan to generate a long missing debate on whaling,” saidSara Holden, Greenpeace campaigner on board the Esperanza. “We have come a longway to be here and we now hope that the Fisheries Agency of Japan and Institutefor Cetacean Research will accept our open invitation to talk.”
VVPR info: On Board the Esperanza: Sara Holden, Greenpeace International Communications: + 872 324 469 014 (satellite phone), or + 81 80 6558 4447 (Japanese mobile) In Yokohama:Keiko Shirokawa, Greenpeace Japan Communications: +81 90 3470 7884 Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Whales Campaign Coordinator: +81 80 5088 2990 For Images please contact: Michelle Thomas, in Sydney, Australia: +61 404 096 556