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2011-06-25

The Japan Fisheries Agency’s failure to differentiate between Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd

In the September 2007 edition (No.435) of the ICR’s journal “Whaling Bulletin”(1), a former head of Antarctic research whaling, Hajimé Ishikawa(2) of the ICR (Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research, financially supported and effectively controlled by the JFA) labelled them both “eco-terrorists” and wrote “Though there may be a difference in severity between the activities of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, in as far as they both use violent methods, endangering our research vessels and even the lives of our crews, there is no difference between them.

Though Greenpeace ceased operations in the Antarctic several years ago, the reason JFA continues to associate them with Sea Shepherd is not made clear.

In “The Greenpeace Story” (1989 /1991 Dorling Kindersley Limited, London) we read: “Greenpeace’s most public face, the one for which it is most well known, is “direct action”. It is this non-violent approach that has consistently marked it out from other environmental groups and one that has gained it press and television headlines around the world.” 

Few Japanese are familiar with the term “direct action” and tend to equate it with the “violent means” recently employed by Sea Shepherd.

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(1)“Whaling Bulletin”; originally『鯨研通信』(Geiken Tsushin), http://www.icrwhale.org/pdf/gpandsea-geiken435.pdf
(2)Hajimé Ishikawa; 石川創


JWCS   Kilie Suzuki / Translation:JWCS Volunteer staff   Simon Varnam

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