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Japanese Whaling Battle Heats Up

The battle over Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean has heated up with the Japanese whalers detaining two members of the eco-terrorist group Sea Shepherd after they illegally boarded their ship. What is interesting to watch is how this incident is being reported in Australia compared to overseas:

TWO anti-whaling activists from a protest ship, an Australian and a Briton, are being held hostage aboard a Japanese whaling vessel in an escalation of the whaling wars in the Southern Ocean.

Benjamin Potts, 28, of Sydney, and Giles Lane, 35, from Britain, crew members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel Steve Irwin, boarded the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru No 2 about 5pm (AEDT) yesterday to deliver a plea to stop killing whales.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society international director Jonny Vasic said the two men were tied to a radar mast in freezing conditions for up to three hours after their capture, a claim denied by Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), which is running the whale hunt. [AFP]

I have been sitting here watching Channel 9’s Today Show and they are calling it a “hostage drama” and have been repeating the Sea Sheppard claims that the two were only delivering a anti-whaling letter to the Japanese.

Now let’s look at how this incident is being reported outside of Australia:

Japanese whalers detained two activists accused of throwing acid at and illegally boarding their vessel in Antarctica on Tuesday. An official denied claims the men were assaulted and tied to the mast.

An Australian and Briton from the environmental group Sea Shepherd — which has been tailing ships involved in Japan’s annual whale hunt — forcibly boarded the Yushin Maru No. 2 and were being held in the ship’s office, Japan’s government-backed Institute for Cetacean Research said in a statement.

Commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1966 but Japan conducts its annual whale hunts under a program it insists is for scientific purposes. Critics call it commercial whaling in disguise.

The institute denied claims by Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson that the two were assaulted and bound to the ship with rope.

“Any accusations that we have tied them up or assaulted them are completely untrue,” said institute chief Minoru Morimoto in the statement.

The two “illegally” boarded the Yushin Maru after attempting to entangle the propellers of the vessel using ropes and throwing bottles of acid onto the decks, Morimoto said.

“They are being held in custody while decisions are made on their future,” Morimoto said.

‘Terrorist’ group, whalers say
Watson said earlier the two men — Australian Benjamin Potts, 28, and Briton Giles Lane, 35 — were assaulted and tied to the railing of the whaler and later bound to the ship’s radar mast.

Hideki Moronuki, the head of the whaling division at Japan’s Fisheries Agency, said: “I strongly deplore any suggestion that our crew would engage in actions that violate sound seamanship.”

“The Sea Shepherd is a terrorist organization. We do not consider anything they say as credible,” Moronuki said. [Associated Press]

These Sea Shepherd loons are not credible considering they lied about their activities last year until caught on vide throwing acid and ramming the Japanese ship. Clearly they were doing a lot more than just simply delivering a letter as the Australian media is reporting.

In the above picture you can see the Japanese spraying a water cannon against the Sea Shepherd eco-terrorists trying to prevent them from boarding the vessel to deliver their so called letter. Obviously they were not wanted on the vessel and boarded anyway making them nothing more than detained pirates, not hostages. In fact the Japanese tried to return the two eco-terrorists back to the boat they came on and the Sea Shepherd boat would not take them back:

“Hostage is not an accurate description, the two crew members were intentionally left behind on board.”

Tomohiko Taniguchi,
Japanese foreign ministry

It is clear that these eco-terrorists wanted to create a “hostage crisis” in order to get publicity and the willing Australian media is doing just that. No where in the Australian media have I see reported the Sea Shepherd’s attempts to tangle the ship’s propellers and the throwing of acid at the Japanese. Notice also how the Australian media only shows the video clip of the two eco-terrorists boarding the shop and nothing else. Why isn’t the media showing the water cannon battle, the attempts to entangle the ship’s propeller, and the throwing of acid?

These eco-terrorists throw acid bottles at the Japanese whalers as seen above because they are trying to contaminate the whale meat. Not once in the Australian media have I seen the fact that Sea Sheppard has thrown acid at the whalers or tried to entangle their ship’s propeller with a net.

What else isn’t being properly reported is how the Japanese want to release the two eco-terrorists. Here is how it is being reported in Australia:

Sea Shepherd founder and Steve Irwin captain Paul Watson said today he had received an email from the Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) which said a halt to protests by the ship was a condition of returning his crew.

“They are saying that we have to agree to not take any action against their whaling activities, not to video or photo their whaling activities and want us to send a boat – a small zodiac – 10 miles over the horizon to pick up my crew, which I am not going to do,” Mr Watson said.

“It endangers the life of the crew, to put them out in these waters in a small boat, 10 miles out of view. So I am not going to meet these demands.

“When you hold hostages and make demands, that is the definition of a terrorist organisation, and that is the way they are acting.” []

Paul Watson would know a thing or two about being a terrorist organization considering his own bombing campaigns and arrest warrants for him in multiple countries. Think about it, after your ship was just attacked by these terrorists would you want the Sea Shepherd’s main boat with forty eco-terrorists on it coming towards your boat to hand over the two detainees? Heck no, that is why the Japanese are telling them to bring the zodiac boat to pick them up which Watson will not do.

Now on the Today Show they are saying the Sea Sheppard is planning on launching a “commando style raid” to free these supposed hostages. I think it is very clear that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt by the eco-terrorists who want to keep these two on the Japanese boat as long as possible in order to keep media attention on themselves.

What I suspect will happen is that the Japanese whalers will hand over the two detainees to the Australian Customs ship the Ocean Viking which is on its way to the area as you can see in the graphic below:

I have been saying this over and over again that these tactics are only making whaling more an issue of nationalism in Japan and they will not be bullied by these publicity seeking eco-terrorists. Instead of championing them the Australian media should be criticizing these Sea Sheppard goons. I doubt it will go this far, but maybe the Japanese government has finally made the decision that only a major diplomatic incident between the two countries by bringing these eco-terrorists back to Japan will cause the Australians to do something about these goons.

Further Reading:
Whaling is Not A Conservation Issue
The Clash Over Japanese Whaling

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