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Champion of anti-whaling at mercy of Japanese court

Japanese whaling pirates raiding Australia's southern whale sanctuary every year poach all the whales they want, spin their exposed lie of scientific research to a complicit whaling commission bureaucracy that must exist only for the club sandwiches at meetings.

And what has Rudd-the-Dudd done to protect Australia's southern ocean and indeed its sovereignty from raiding Japanese poachers arriving from some 10,000km to the north? Squat, except publicly froth and bubble yet with no action like all his other core and non-core populist empty promises.

Sea Shepherd, in its Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, has been doing Australia's Naval border protection job for Australia's regional oceans. It's defence vessels, the Steve Irwin and Bob Barker have recently completed their sixth voyage to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to oppose the illegal whaling activities of the Japanese whaling fleet.

"For three straight weeks from February 5th until February 26th we prevented the entire Japanese whaling fleet from killing a single whale. The month before, we had shut the whalers down for twelve days giving us thirty-three solid whaling-free days, which is one-third of their whaling season. In addition, our actions forced the harpoon vessels Shonan Maru 2 and the Yushin Maru 3 to break off from whaling activities to serve as security vessels to oppose Sea Shepherd interventions, and this prevented these two vessels from killing whales for almost the entire season."

In late 2009, it was announced that New Zealand's record breaking Earthrace bio-fuel powerboat, repainted black and named Ady Gil, would be participating in anti-whaling operations under the lead of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

'On January 6, 2010, in blatant disregard for the safety of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew, the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru No. 2 attempted to sink the Ady Gil off the coast of Antarctica.

Video taken from the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru 2 confirm that the skipper of the Shonan Maru 2 made a deliberate starboard turn toward the Ady Gil, thus intentionally causing a collision at sea. This Japanese video from the Japanese Shonan Maru 2 is prima facie evidence of Japanese malicious intent to collide:
You Tube video proof of Japanese intent to collide

Refer: Japanese whaler rams and sinks anti-whaling vessel in Antarctic on website by Sheila Newman, 7th January, 2010.

NZ skipper of the Ady Gil at the time of the collision, Pete Bethune, then boarded the Shonan Maru 2 to make a citizen's arrest of the Japanese captain and handed over a $US3 million (NZ$4.5 million) bill for the destruction of protest ship the Ady Gil that sank after a confrontation a month earlier.'

Instead, the Japanese crew arrested Bethune and imprisoned him on the vessel and took him to Japan. Japan charged Bethune with 'trespassing' of all things on the Shonan Maru II, (which was itself trespassing). Japan has charged Bethune as if Japan still considered itself a pre-WWII imperial dictatorship. Japan has charged Bethune with injuring a crewman, obstructing commercial activities, vandalism and carrying a weapon. Pirates enforcing a kangaroo court. If convicted, Bethune could face up to 15 years in jail. And what of the criminal actions of the Japanese skipper of the Shonan Maru 2?

On 25th February 2010, Rudd-the-Dudd apparently 'warned' Japan that "diplomacy comes to an end this year" on whaling, after presenting a bold plan to phase out the controversial killing of hundreds of minke whales in Australia's Southern Ocean.

Rudd-the Dudd then proclaimed for the cameras:

"We are saying loud and clear to our friends in Japan that Australia does not support the continuation of commercial or scientific whaling in the Southern Ocean, we have a very basic position...and that if Japan cannot come forward with a proposal which reduces its current catch to zero over a reasonable period of time, then we have no alternative but to initiate appropriate legal action."

Words Kev! Politics is more than words - re-read the PM governance manual!

Bethune's US lawyer Dan Harris said last night the activist would admit trespass, possession of a weapon, damage to property and obstructing commercial activity, but deny the most serious charge of assault, which was based on allegations that he was responsible for bottles of rancid butter - a stenching agent known as butyric acid - being thrown at Japanese sailors.

Greens Senator Bob Brown says it is horrendous that a New Zealand anti-whaling activist is facing the prospect of a lengthy jail term in Japan.

Senator Brown says it seems to have been forgotten that the Japanese whalers ran down Mr Bethune's ship, the Ady Gil, endangering the lives of the six people on board.

He says Mr Bethune and his crew were almost killed when the Shonan Maru II rammed their ship.

"It's time that Canberra and Wellington took up that matter with the Japanese government and with great vigour prosecute the Shonan Maru's captain and his crew, who took part in that illegal act in destroying the Ady Gil," he said.

Senator Brown is urging Australia take retaliatory legal action.

"The Australian Federal Police and the New Zealand police are investigating that sinking of the Ady Gil and the Australian and New Zealand governments should be pursuing with great vigour that investigation and charges against the whaling fleet," he said.

[Brown wants Australia to retaliate in whaling furore by ABC North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy,2nd April 2010]

And what is Rudd doing to represent the legal welfare of an Australian citizen defending Australia's ecological sovereignty, and illegally captured on the high seas by Japanese whaling pirates?

Rudd is the most anti-Australian prime minister we have the misfortune to have trusted. Rudd should retire and move to East Asia.

In defence of whales from poaching, in light of an Australian Government roaring mouse complicit in its idleness, bring on concerted propeller wrapping of all Japanese vessels till they are immobilised. Old fishing nets with cabling would be effective, especially at night.

I am not in favour of labelling any defence action as "unprovoked". Once the Japanese rocked up to poach whales in the Southern Ocean they themselves provoked justifiable defence - all gloves off!

Defence of whales and defence of Australia's territorial waters and declared whale sanctuary, justify not killing the poachers but immobilizing and disabling their 'capacity to poach'.

A few sunk Japanese ships would bring the issue to a head and get vacillating Chinilpa Rudd off his fence. He should show some leadership by working with NZ and Pacific Ocean nations to place a Oceania-wide moratorium on refuelling, servicing or supply of any Japanese vessel engaged in fishing, whaling research across Oceania. No fuel, no whaling! The whalers cost to run an alternative fuel ship would make their poaching adventure cost prohibitive. A similar ban should apply to Japanese seconding charter aircraft. These naval samurais would then skidaddle back to Japan with their swords between their legs.

Japanese have no place poaching in our Southern Ocean!

Image icon Peter Bethune.jpg27.66 KB


Around 20 Japanese protesters staged a noisy rally and waved signs saying "Hang terrorist Peter Bethune!" and "Destroy Caucasian discrimination against Japanese!" outside the Tokyo District Court.
If there is nothing else to accuse activists of these days, then they trump up the "racist" or "terrorist" labels so that these words have little genuine meaning any more. It is like those losing a debate taking the last resort of personally insulting the opposition!
Having a high moral ground, as Sea Shepherd does, is an affront to these environmental criminals and their supporters. They have to resort to modern, meaningless, throw-away vocabulary, as their only defense!

Sea Shepherd's Conservation Society website provides regular updates on the plight of Captain Pete Bethune’s Trial.

As at 3rd June 2010, the site read:

The first phase of Captain Pete Bethune’s trial in Japan has ended and he remains both unbowed and in good spirits. Captain Bethune is being represented by a highly capable team of Japanese lawyers.

Though some in the media have written that Captain Bethune pleaded guilty to four out of five counts against him, this is incorrect, as Captain Bethune continues to maintain his innocence on all counts. He contested some of the facts claimed by the Japanese prosecutor, including, most importantly, that anyone on the Japanese vessel the Shonan Maru 2 was ever injured by anything done by anyone on a Sea Shepherd vessel. A crewmember from the Shonan Maru 2 claimed to have been injured by rancid butter tossed onto the Shonan Maru 2 by Sea Shepherd volunteers, but the evidence revealed that no doctor ever actually saw the alleged injury and there was no dispute that this crewmember was fine before his vessel ever arrived back in port.

Captain Bethune’s overall defense is based on the illegality of whaling and on the United Nations World Charter for Nature authorizing private organizations like Sea Shepherd to engage in government-like activities to protect the environment. The Shonan Maru 2 was engaged in illegal whaling and Captain Bethune’s actions against that vessel were the equivalent of a coast guard acting to stop it.

On the first day of the trial, Captain Bethune’s lawyers and the prosecutor read their opening statements, and one crewmember from the Shonan Maru 2 testified regarding what he had seen. On the second day of the trial, a crewmember from the Shonan Maru 2 testified regarding a minor three-day skin rash on about a one-inch patch of skin he attributes to rancid butter used by Captain Bethune. A doctor who never actually saw this crewmember (because his injury did not even warrant an in-person visit) testified that the injury could have been caused by rancid butter. Sea Shepherd has a strict policy against violence, and in its more than thirty years of operation, has never injured anyone.

Captain Bethune testified all day on the third day of trial as to why he had done what he did. He talked about his anger at the Japanese whalers killing whales in international waters. As Captain Bethune put it, “They are coming into my backyard and killing what belongs to all of us.”

The trial will resume on June 10th, at which time Captain Bethune’s attorneys and the prosecutor will read their closing statements. Captain Bethune himself will also read a statement in Japanese – intended for the court, the world, and, in particular, the Japanese people. It was entirely Captain Bethune’s idea to read his statement in Japanese; he wants to do that as a sign of respect for the Japanese people. It is important to him that Japan understand that neither he nor Sea Shepherd has ever had any problem with Japan or its people. The actions of Captain Bethune and of Sea Shepherd are designed to end whaling wherever it may be happening. The issue is whaling, not Japan.

After the June 10th hearing, the three judges in charge of trying Captain Bethune are expected to take anywhere from one to four weeks to issue their verdict and sentence, if any. Sea Shepherd’s fervent hope is that the judges will realize Captain Bethune violated no laws and will release him immediately. He has been in a Japanese jail since March 12th and he was held in custody on the Shonan Maru 2 prior to that, totalling well over 100 days in captivity to date. The Japanese Coast Guard continues to refuse to investigate the Shonan Maru #2’s intentional sinking of the Ady Gil (the ship that Captain Bethune was at the helm of) or even to cooperate with the ongoing investigations of the New Zealand and Australian maritime authorities.

Regular updates can be found at:

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885

According to initial reports Pete Bethune has received a 2 year suspended sentence and is banned from entering Japan for 5 years. He is to be deported back to New Zealand later today.

So the Japanese Government has condoned the abduction of a New Zealand national by Japanese whale poachers in a marine sanctuary on the other side of the globe, then condoned his illegal transport to Japan and illegitimate imprisonment, then ruled that this New Zealander cannot protest in future against whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Who the bloody hell do the Japs think they are? World domineers?
They lost the bloody war. Get over it and go home!

When are NZ and Australia to stand up for these arrogant foreign poachers invading our marine sanctuary?

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885