Two of my Greenpeace Japan colleagues, activists, Junichi and Toru, have been arrested for exposing the stolen whale meat scandal which led to the ongoing investigation by the Tokyo Public Prosecutor of the government’s Southern Ocean whale hunt.
They’re being investigated for allegedly stealing a box of whale meat – yet they delivered the meat to the public prosecutor a month ago, as evidence of a systematic whale meat smuggling operation. The activists had tracked the box, along with many others like it, after it had been smuggled off the Nisshin Maru, following its return from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. They then followed the shipment to a depot in Tokyo, where they intercepted one of four boxes destined for the same private address, in order to verify the contents, and establish the fraud being carried out against the taxpayer.
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Actually, they were arrested in Japan for theft.
Being arrested for theft… well, that’s the same as being arrested for alledgedly stealing something – they are innocent, until proven guilty.
They were arrested on suspicion of stealing private property (without permission of the owner, nor the transportation company), as well as suspicion of breaking and entering (into at least one transportation premises).
Further, Tokyo prosecutors announced on the same day that all 12 Nisshin Maru crew members would not be prosecuted, as there was no suspicion of wrongdoing. The meat the crew members were sending was obtained legally from their employer, with permission.
Police are continuing to investigate whether or not Greenpeace Japan had a role in the organization of the alleged intrusion and theft by Mr Sato and Mr Suzuki.
Greenpeace has no credibility here in Japan.
Thanks for that update, Matsumoto Kiyoshi. I’m well aware what they were arrested for – however, you should bear in mind that it’s a bit like “shooting the messenger” – they reported a crime, now they’ve been jailed for doing so.