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Greenpeace protests Japan whaling scam trial
Published on 8 Jun. 2010 10:54 PM IST
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Environment organisation Greenpeace Tuesday held a demonstration to press their demand for justice for its two activists being tried in Japan for unravelling corruption in Japan’s whaling industry.
The authorities in Japan have demanded 18 months’ jail term for Greenpeace activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, who exposed corruption in the “Japanese government sponsored the whaling industry”.
The organisation on the occasion of World Oceans Day Tuesday unfurled a banner saying ‘Activism is Not a Crime’ at the capital’s Gyarah Murti statue demanding justice for the duo.
“Japan has so far killed hundreds of whales under the pretext of scientific whaling, spending (about) $12 million of the Japanese taxpayers’ money every year. It was in public interest that Greenpeace activists Junichi and Toru took the courageous stand to expose corruption in the Japanese government sponsored whaling industry,” said Areeba Hamid, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace.
Hamid said the duo conducted a public interest investigation into corruption in the Japanese whaling industry but the authorities have sought 18 months term for them, the longest jail term ever demanded for any Greenpeace activist in the organisation’s 40-year history.
“We believe that the space to question, debate and expose are fundamental tenets and signs of a robust democracy. In fact, Japan’s whaling programme should be put on trial,” she asserted.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has held the Japan government responsible for a breach of human rights in the case, she added.
“The actions of Junichi and Toru have been peaceful at all times and for the public good. It is deeply worrying that any jail term might be imposed,” said Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo.
Greenpeace has also launched an online campaign supporting justice for them.
In January 2008, Greenpeace began an investigation into whistleblower allegations that organised whale meat embezzlement was being conducted by crew inside Japan’s so-called “scientific” whaling programme, which is funded by Japanese taxpayers.
The informer was previously involved in the whaling programme, and following his advice Junichi and Toru began an investigation, eventually discovering firm proof that cardboard boxes containing whale meat were being secretly shipped to the homes of whaling fleet crew -- and then sold for personal profit.

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