Toru Suzuki is one of our activists in Japan, now facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for exposing a crime at the heart of Japan's whaling industry.

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The so-called “scientific” whaling fleet has now returned to port from the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary for what we hope will be the last time, and it is almost one year since Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki exposed the embezzlement of whale meat by the fleet’s crew.

Junichi and Toru are still on trial for their efforts to expose this crime, however, recently their bail conditions were relaxed slightly, enabling them to come back to work – just not with each other.

Here’s Toru’s reflections on his first few weeks back at work… Junichi posted a few days ago, on his return...

I'm so glad to finally be able to come back home to the office.Well, I did feel little strange for the first five minutes, as it was my first time here in nine months. But it wasn’t long until it felt like the home it used to be.

 

Since I was released under bail restrictions, the most disappointing thing for me was that I was unable to see my Greenpeace colleagues.

When I was in custody, I was looking forward to having a BBQ with my colleagues as soon as I was free. But this simple wish was shattered. You can imagine my disappointment, particularly after 26 days with really bad food (It was not the main reason for my hunger strike, but I have to say that I'm glad I did it, as it brought the least amount of awful meals to me in my box of a room).Before our arrests, we - that is everyone at Greenpeace in Japan - already went through much hardship. So my wish before release was to see everyone and pat each other's shoulders.

 

This is now a reality. I didn't expect it would take so long...

There is still a long way to go with the trial, but now I'm really happy to see and touch the great hearts of these wonderful people again. When you have your spirit up and are with your colleagues, there is not much to worry about. Now my spirit is reinforced, I am stronger than ever!

I would like to thank everyone who helped us to get here. And please keep your eyes on us, as much as possible.

The fact that everyone is watching us, and them, is our best insurance for the trial.

The next pre-trial hearing for the Tokyo Two will be held on the 15th of May this year.