Whale Meat Scandal Uncovered in Japan

Greetings from Tokyo, Japan, where I’ve been of the last week, working with the Greenpeace Japan team, who’ve managed to uncover a major scandal involving the smuggling of whalemeat:

“Stake outs, testimony from informers, hidden cameras and tailing trucks full of stolen goods – it reads like a Hollywood movie, but it was an every day experience for Greenpeace activists in Japan, who have spent four months cracking open a major conspiracy of corruption at the heart of Japan’s government-backed, sham scientific whaling operation.”

“[Yesterday] we displayed a cardboard box filled with the best cuts of whale meat, smuggled ashore by the crew of the Japanese whaling factory ship, Nisshin Maru, for illegal trade and personal gain, at the Japanese taxpayer’s expense. The box, along with videotaped testimony and other evidence, suggest widespread embezzlement of whale meat has been occuring for decades under the noses of the public officials who run the whaling programme, and are allowing it to happen.”

Read more here »

Posted by Brian yesterday on Making Waves:

“Finally, we can tell the story some of us have been sitting on for months now: the whale meat embezzlement we uncovered in Japan, in which stolen cuts of prime whale bacon are smuggled away from the “scientific research” vessels and sold for oodles of yen — one of our informers heard a crew member claim he built a house on his illegal proceeds.”

Blog: Stolen whale meat scandal rocks Japan »

And an update I just posted on Making Waves:

“We met for breakfast at 6:30am; the sun was shining for the first time in days, and the scandal had been splashed all over the front page of the Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s leading newspaper with 8 million copies circulated daily. A good start to the day. By the time our press conference kicked off at 10am, news had spread, and the room was packed with domestic and international media, including all the top Japanese TV stations, and international agencies like Bloomberg and Agence France-Presse. Cross conferences can be notoriously dull affairs – but this was a little different. Our whale campaigner, Junichi, while presenting the conference with Jun (Greenpeace Japan executive director) pulled on a pair of surgical gloves, and held up a piece of the stolen whale meat for the cameras. Mind, seeing wasn’t enough to convince one journalist who was forced to ask “is it real?” To which Junichi replied that it certainly was, and invited the journalist to have a sniff – the whale meat doesn’t smell so good, and by the time the conference was over, the entire room smell of dead whale – an Antarctic minke that found an ignominious, pointless end, stuffed into a cardboard box.”

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Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of Blather.net, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.