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Paul Watson Claims Japanese Coast Guard Shot Him

The violence in the Southern Ocean continues to escalate:

Japan has dismissed as a lie claims by the captain of an anti-whaling ship he was shot at during the latest confrontation with a whaling vessel in the Southern Ocean.

Paul Watson, captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society protest ship the Steve Irwin, said he felt a thud and found a bullet lodged in his bulletproof vest during a clash between the two vessels.

He said crew members on the Steve Irwin were throwing stink bombs at the whaling ship the Nisshin Maru when Japanese coast guards responded by throwing flash grenades.

The anti-whaling group said besides Mr Watson, two other crew members, both Australians, were hurt in the incident. [AAP]

Before I discuss this shooting notice how the AAP called what the Sea Shepherd loons were throwing as "stink bombs" and what the Japanese used as "grenades".  The "stink bombs" the Sea Shepherd eco-loons were throwing is in fact butyric acid that is a weak acid that stinks badly but could injure someone if the acid gets into someones eyes. If you check the Australian Government’s ASCC webpage the acid is classified as a hazardous substance.  Sea Shepherd claims the acid is harmless.  If it is so harmless I dare someone to throw one at the next footy game you attend and see what happens.

Here is what the "grenades" the Japanese were using against the Sea Shepherd eco-loons:

Mr Inwood, the New Zealand-based spokesman for the Institute of Cetacean Research, said there had been some "retaliation" when the coast guards fired seven warning balls at the Sea Shepherd vessel.

Mr Inwood said there were seven rounds fired from officers aboard the Nisshin Maru.

A coast guard spokesman said the warning balls go off in the air and do not harm anyone.

"What we threw for the warning were ball-like objects … a bit bigger than tennis balls," he said.

"We used two types of them: ones that flash in the air and ones that make loud noise."

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Japan had denied firing any shots during the confrontation.

Japanese officials had told the Australian Embassy in Tokyo that warning balls had been fired by the Japanese ship, he said.

"Japanese officials have advised that these devices are designed to make a loud noise but not to injure and that no gunshots had been fired."

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura later told reporters in Tokyo that the government "has to take necessary measures, which includes the use of warning balls".

"Whales might be cute, precious animals, but injuring human beings to protect whales is unforgivable," Mr Machimura said.

The Australian media calls a riot control device used by trained Japanese Coast Guard personnel "grenades" when they are not even "grenades".  A grenade you pull a pin out of and throw at someone, this riot control device is shot from the gun like device you see pictured below:

This same riot control device is used by policemen in Australia to include when they battled the anarchist thugs that trashed Melbourne two years ago.  So how come the Australian media doesn’t say the Sea Shepherd eco-loons are throwing "acid bombs" while the Japanese Coast Guard used a "riot control devices" in response?  Draw you own conclusions.  Anyway back to the alleged shooting of Watson:

"I felt an impact on my chest at one point and didn’t think too much of it at the time and then when I opened up my survival suit – I had a bulletproof vest (on) – and there was a bullet lodged in it," he told ABC Radio.

The bullet hit him on the upper left side of his chest and bent a badge he was wearing underneath, Mr Watson said.

"If I wasn’t wearing the vest it would have been pretty serious," he said.

However, Mr Watson said he did not know who had shot him.

"I didn’t see anybody shoot at me and it was pretty hard for any of the crew to see anything because everybody was ducking from these flash grenades."

The ship’s doctor, David Page, was filmed prying the bullet from Mr Watsons’s Kevlar vest, and saying "You have been hit by a bullet," Sea Shepherd said in a statement.

The Japanese have denied shooting Watson and this has more eco-drama written all over it.  First of all every picture I have seen of the Sea Shepherd eco-loons not one of them was ever wearing a flak jacket.  So I find it interesting that suddenly Watson is wearing a flak jacket.  Secondly the Japanese have denied shooting him and what purpose would shooting Watson and making him a martyr have?  Thirdly the Sea Shepherd group are known liars that the media continues to let them get away with. 

Judging by the past performance of the Australian media does anyone think they will properly investigate these shooting claims from Watson now or just accept what he says with no challenge?  Once again draw your own conclusions, but I know what I think. 

It is amazing the amount of headlines this is making over a species that is not even endangered

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