The Greenpeace ship Esperanza has been chasing the factory ship
Nisshin Maru for ten straight days, consequently stopping the
entire whaling operation. With the factory ship out of commission,
no whales have been killed by the hunter ships as they would not be
able to transfer their catch.
"Greenpeace came here to peacefully stop the hunt and that is
what we have done. But it is not enough to stop whaling only when
the world's eyes are on the fleet and the Esperanza is on its
tail,' said Greenpeace Japan campaigner Sakyo Noda, on board the
Esperanza. "Tokyo must take the decision to call an end to this
whaling season now and make it the last one."
The Japanese government has come under increasing pressure over
their whaling programme. Today that pressure increased after
Greenpeace Japan Whales Project Leader Junichi Sato wrote an open
letter to Japanese business leaders warning of the negative impact
that whaling is having on the country's reputation
Already the New Zealand division of Toyota has condemned whaling
and even the former whaling company Nissui, has acknowledged that
whaling is bad for business.
The letter states: 'By hunting nearly 1,000 whales including
endangered fin whales, by using tax payers' money, under the name
of "research" in an internationally recognized whale sanctuary, the
Japanese government is creating huge environmental, economic, and
diplomatic friction, the negative impact of which many
professionals in the economic and financial world in Japan have
underestimated. As Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (Nissui), one of the
major ex-whaling companies, said, "Involvement in whaling is a
business risk." Whaling creates a negative image to the world for
Japanese companies and the country itself.
While Greenpeace would not support a boycott of Japanese
products (2), there is a strong possibility of boycotts by
consumers around the world if Japan's whaling continues in the
Southern Ocean. Also, the image of Japan as host and international
leader on environmental issues at the G8 Summit, which the Japanese
government and your organization announced, has been ruined. The
whaling issue could also negatively influence economic cooperation
with Australia, and an invitation to hold the Olympic Games in
Tokyo in 2016."
Other contacts: Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan Whales Project leader, Tokyo. Tel: +81-80-5088-2990Dave Walsh, Greenpeace International communications officer on board the Esperanza.Sara Holden, Greenpeace International Whales Project leader, on board the Esperanza. Tel: +873 324 469 014 and +47 514 079 86Photos are available from Michelle Thomas, + 81 903 593 6979 and video from Michael Nagasaka +81 806 558 4447, both in Tokyo
Notes: (1) http://www.maff.go.jp/j/press-conf/v_min/080121.html(2)Greenpeace is not anti-Japanese and therefore does not advocate general boycotts of Japanese goods, but targeted campaigns against individuals and organisations that have the power to influence government policy on whaling.