T2 Trial: Whalers to testify
by Allison Kole
May 13, 2010
The Tokyo Two (T2), are two Greenpeace activists on trial in Japan for exposing a whale meat embezzlement scandal. Now, those implicated in scandal they uncovered almost two years ago must take the stand. Through the investigation by Greenpeace and the T2, and subsequent evidence in court, it has been shown that the whaling industry is not just a government subsidized yearly whale slaughter disguised as scientific research, but also an industry fraught with corruption. Junichi and Toru, the T2, are on trial for revealing this corruption that implicates government officials and crewmembers, one of whom will take the stand tomorrow.
It remains to be seen whether the three judges who will decide the fate of the T2 will understand that whaling should be on trial and not two Japanese citizens. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has identified this trial as a politically motivated one, and the Japanese Prosecutor’s Office has a motive to silence the T2. See UNWGAD summary. Government employees from the ICR (Institute of Cetacean Research/fake science body) have been identified as part of the corruption. One former whaling crew member took the stand at trial in March to talk about ICR officials taking expensive cuts of whale meat off record.
For this reason and so many more, people across the globe have taken action by signing a petition to PUT WHALING ON TRIAL. Recently, the Greenpeace delivered some of these petitions put forward a request for the Prosecution Inquest Committee (PIC) to consider reopening the investigation into the scandal brought to their attention by Greenpeace. This committee is supposed to be a body of citizens that reviews decisions by the Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office. In 2008, the Prosecutor’s office had promised to investigate the embezzlement scandal the T2 brought forard and instead sent dozens officers to arrest the T2. Before Greenpeace could submit all of the evidence to the PIC to reopen the case they were denied. Just like a political trial, there is a united front to cover up the scandal and to silence the T2. See a Timeline of Events.
Junichi and Toru were within their rights of freedom of expression under international law by conducting their investigation. In addition, Japan is bound by international agreement to uphold their right of citizens to obtain and share information, not take steps to suppress it. Elements of the original investigation have been laid out over the course of this long trial: the stealing of whale meat, black market sales, government employee beneficiaries, and much more. Tomorrow will be another opportunity to find out about the embezzlement of whale meat on the Nisshin Maru. As the crew member who took part in embezzling whale meat takes the witness stand, the world will wonder why the T2 are the ones facing jail time. Sign the petition: Arrest Me Too.
Keep up to date the about Tokyo Two and the whaling issue by joining the T2 facebook page.