A court in Aomori, Japan has ruled that two Greenpeace peaceful protestors who exposed a major scandal around the embezzlement of whale meat from the Japanese government-sponsored Southern Ocean whaling programme will spend the maximum time in custody without charge permissible under Japanese law - 23 days.
Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki were arrested on June 20th after
exposing the scandal, despite offering to cooperate with any police
investigation and having already submitted, under their own
initiative, written statements about the undercover investigation,
which revealed large-scale theft of meat from the tax-payer funded
so-called scientific whaling programme.
"With this additional custody order, Junichi and Toru are to
spend twenty three days in detention without charge, despite having
given the police all the information they need. This is much longer
than the time spent by the Tokyo District Prosecutor investigating
the evidence presented by Greenpeace of an embezzlement ring within
the so-called scientific whaling fleet," commented Greenpeace
International Executive Director, Gerd Leipold. "The authorities in
Japan must, as a matter of urgency, refocus their energy on
investigating the crimes covered up by the whaling industry and
sectors of the Government, not the method of exposing the
Since their arrest, nearly 190,000 people have sent letters to
the Japanese Government calling for the release of Junichi and Toru
and further demanding a full investigation into the whale meat
embezzlement scandal. Protests have been held outside Japanese
embassies in 33 cities across 29 countries.
In a message to supporters, sent via their lawyers, Junichi and
Toru welcomed the support they have had from people all over the
world, adding: "We still need your help. We have been ordered to
remain in custody for ten more days without charge. Please
encourage your friends to send an email to the Japanese government,
if they have not already. Keep watching for news from Greenpeace of
more actions you can take and make sure that the global demand to
investigate the whale meat scandal we exposed is heard loud and
clear here in Japan."
Other contacts: Keiko Shirokawa: Greenpeace Japan Media, in Tokyo: + 81 90 3470 7884 Dave Walsh, Greenpeace International, in Tokyo: +81 80 5877 2587 Mike Townsley, Greenpeace International, in Amsterdam: +31 621 296 918
Notes: Greenpeace has begun a series of activities at Japanese embassies around the world protesting the detention of Junichi and Toru. Nearly 190,000 people have now written to demand their release. http://www.greenpeace.org/tokyo-twoThe "Stolen Japanese Whale Meat Scandal" dossier is available to download at:http://www.greenpeace.org/whale-meat-scandal