Greenpeace Holds Peaceful Protest Outside Japanese Embassy

Feature story - June 30, 2008
Update: The court has ruled Junichi and Toru will spend the maximum time in custody without charge permissible under Japanese law - 23 days. In a message to supporters, sent via their lawyers, Junichi and Toru welcomed the outpouring of efforts 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."

Greenpeace supporters conducted a peaceful protest outside the Japanese embassy in the United States as part of a global campaign against the continued unnecessary detention of two Greenpeace activists in Japan who exposed a large scale embezzlement scandal within the Japanese government-sponsored Southern Ocean whaling program. 

The two Greenpeace activists have already been held for 10 days in jail without charge in Japan.

At the Japanese embassy in the United States, Greenpeace supporters held up 2 banners, one in Japanese with the images of the activists being detailed, Junichi and Toru, and one in English that read Free Junichi and Toru. Activists also had 8"x11" hand drawn images of both Junichi and Toru that were held by everyone.

The jailing of the two Japanese activists has sparked a worldwide outcry. In addition to demonstrations in approximately 30 countries since last week, nearly 180,000 letters have been emailed to the Japanese Prime Minister and Foreign minister in support of immediately releasing the two activists.

At the Japanese embassy in the United States, Greenpeace Executive Director John Passacantando delivered the U.S. petition with over 15,000 signatures. He also delivered a copy of the "Japan's Stolen Whale Meat Scandal" dossier and a letter to Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki.

In some countries, vigils will be established with the activists committed to remaining outside the embassies until are charged or set free. Under Japanese law, they can be held without charge for 23 days.

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