Tokyo Two: Statement of Concern from International Non-Governmental Organisations

Press release - 10 July, 2008
This is a joint statement of concern by International Non-Governmental Organisations, urging the Japanese government as well as governments around the world to take immediate action on the detention of Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki.

[UPDATE:  A new statement of concern has been released.  Read it here.]

We, the undersigned, fully support the following statement and urge the Japanese authorities and all concerned governments and decision makers to take immediate action to release the Tokyo Two:

The unnecessary detention of two peaceful protestors from Greenpeace in Japan is of grave concern. 

The willingness of Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki to cooperate with the police investigation into the manner in which they obtained the evidence of their allegations of large-scale corruption within the Japanese government-sponsored Southern Ocean whaling programme must be recognised. It is these allegations that require further investigation. Sato and Suzuki's detention without charge must be ended immediately.

The rights of individuals and organisations to freedom of expression, the ability to voice opposition to government policies, investigate corruption and expose environmental and human rights abuses must always be upheld. The law cannot be used or abused as an instrument of oppression. Punishing dissent and peaceful protest through intimidation and detention without charge is unacceptable in the 21st century.

Please release Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki and provide Greenpeace Japan and all other Non-governmental organisations working in Japan with the rights guaranteed under international law to organize and to protest peacefully.

Updated list:

  • Amnesty International
  • Animal Welfare Institute, International
  • ARTICLE 19- Global Campaign for Free Expression
  • Australian Conservation Foundation
  • Chocolonely Foundation, The Netherlands
  • CIVICUS- World Alliance for Citizen Participation, International
  • Deepwave, Germany
  • Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA), International
  • Forest Peoples Programme, International
  • Foundation for Marine Environment Research, Switzerland
  • GeaSphere, Southern Africa
  • German League for Nature and Environment Conservation, Germany
  • Global Justice Ecology, International
  • Global Movement for Children, International
  • Humane Society International
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), International
  • International League for the Protection of Cetaceans (ILPC), International
  • Link Whales Working Group, UK
  • Living Oceans Society, Canada
  • Mammals Encounter Education Research (MEER), Germany
  • Mangrove Action Project, International
  • New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, USA
  • Ocean Research and Education Society, Canada
  • Oceana, International
  • OLSSI, Samoa
  • OrcaLab/Pacific Orca Society, Canada
  • Pacific Indigenous People Environment Coalition
  • Society for Dolphin Conservation, Germany
  • The Wilderness Society, Australia
  • The Whaleman Foundation, Hawaii
  • UBUNTU- World Forum of Civil Society Networks Secretariat, International
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), International
  • World Society for the Protection of Animals, International

Other contacts: Kyoko Murakami: Greenpeace Japan Media, in Tokyo: + 81 80 5088 3048Dave Walsh, Greenpeace International, in Tokyo: +81 80 5877 2587Cindy Baxter, Greenpeace International in Amsterdam +31 646 097 332

Notes: Earlier this year, working from information given by former and current employees of whaling fleet owner Kyodo Senpaku, Greenpeace tracked the offloading of smuggled whale meat from the factory ship Nisshin Maru to crew members' homes. One of four boxes destined for the same private address was intercepted in order to verify the contents and establish the fraud. This box, containing up to US$3000 worth of prime meat, but labelled as containing cardboard, was displayed at a press conference on May 15th, before being turned over to the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor dropped his investigation of the meat scandal the same day that Sato and Suzuki were arrested.The "Stolen Japanese Whale Meat Scandal" dossier is available to download at: has carried out a series of activities at Japanese embassies around the world protesting the detention of Junichi and Toru.