Tokyo Two trial witnesses

Page - June 7, 2010
Here is a summary of what the court heard from the witnesses involved in the Tokyo Two Trial

Prosecution witnesses:

Head of sales, Kyodo Senpaku [trial footnote #3]

  • Admitted that “souvenirs” of whale meat were given to crew, but the cost was not accounted for in financial statements [trial footnote #4].
  • Contradicted previous public statements where he had insisted that there was no practice of giving out “souvenir” meat.
  • Admitted under oath that souvenirs are no longer given to officials.

The manager of Seino Transport’s Aomori depot [trial footnote #5]

  • Named as the “victim” in the case, even though the box of whale meat did not belong to him.
  • Testified that he had paid the owner of the box about 30,000 yen (US$300) out of his own pocket, and did not register this payment.
  • Admitted that the owner had told him the box contained food and not the “cardboard” listed on the contents sheet.
  • Admitted that he was not the “victim”, despite being named as such.
  • Did not report the box as stolen to the police.

Defence witnesses:

Ex-whaling fleet crew member - Hostile Witness

  • Confirmed that despite being named as central to the Greenpeace allegations, he had not been interviewed as part of the official inquiry [trial footnote #6]
  • Contradicted evidence given in Kyodo Senpaku’s official report to the Fisheries Agency of Japan.
  • Admitted that when juvenile whales were caught, prime cuts were kept for the crew and processed separately from other whales [trial footnote #7], contradicting Kyodo Senpaku’s Head of Sales [trial footnote #8].

Whistleblower number two [trial footnote #9]

  • Told the court that he knew souvenir whale meat was sent to Diet Members (Japanese parliamentarians) and officials from the government’s Fisheries Agency (FAJ).
  • Added that officials from the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR) on the factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, also took large portions of highly prized tail meat for themselves claiming it was for research purposes.
  • Witnessed embezzlement in the 1990’s, and when he raised his concerns with officials from Kyodo Senpaku he was transferred to a different job onboard one of the “non-lethal” research ships.

Prof. Dirk Voorhoof [trial footnote #10]

  • Testified that there was no effective alternative way to bring the embezzlement information out into the open.
  • Told the court that Junichi and Toru had no intention to profit personally from their actions; that they were absolutely transparent and cooperative in all aspects of their investigation and in their dealings with the authorities, and that they caused no major financial or psychological damage to anyone.
  • Warned the court that according to the United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Japanese authorities have already violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their treatment of the Tokyo Two.
  • Warned the court that if a conviction is recorded against the Tokyo Two it would go against the ICCPR and would deter others from exposing government corruption.

Kyodo Senpaku Production Manager, current crew member - Hostile Witness

  • Confirmed that whale meat was being taken by crew and sent to officials and ex-crew members.
  • When asked how many boxes he sent, he said two, contradicting Greenpeace video evidence.
  • Claimed some boxes contained Antarctic ice, however, these were being sent via non-refrigerated Seino Transport courier trucks.
  • He claimed to have no idea how much “souvenir” meat was distributed in 2008, despite telling police it was around 400 pieces.

The ‘owner’ of the box, a whaler and current crew member - Hostile Witness

  • Contradicted his earlier police statements, the statements of officials and other crew members.
  • He couldn’t remember how many pieces of whale meat he had allegedly been given by others, despite being very clear about this in five police statements.
  • He specifically denied receiving Unesu from the Production Manager, clearly contradicting the Managers testimony that morning.
  • He only admitted that the Tokyo Two should be punished when this was suggested by the lead judge [trial footnote #13].