The Japanese whaling industry, otherwise known as the Institute for Cetacean Research, has been kicked off the dole this year.
The corporate welfare whale killers will most likely not be able to return to the Southern Ocean in December 2011. The Japanese government this week announced massive budget cuts to divert monies for the restoration needed to repair earthquake and tsunami damages and to help the people evacuated from the no-go zone around Fukushima. In addition, the ongoing crisis of keeping the nuclear reactors cooled is draining hundreds of millions of dollars from the government treasury.
This has resulted in cuts across the board, including child support, senior citizen support and pensions, and infrastructure repairs and maintenance.
However, the government bureaucrats of Japan are still driven by pride, anger and revenge. For this reason, Japan recently sent a delegation to Palau to pressure the Republic of Palau from working with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Japan has offered but not yet confirmed that they will supply Palau with a patrol boat and funds to operate it if Palau rejects the agreement with Sea Shepherd.
Sea Shepherd will be quite satisfied if Palau gets the support of Japan for the patrol vessel and funds. That will allow us to go onto other Pacific island nations to make similar offers, which hopefully will motivate Japan to respond with counter offers. We may be able to manipulate Japan into providing fishery patrol vessels to the entire South Pacific region.
So there is a small possibility that the government could still risk public outrage in Japan by once again subsidizing the Japanese whaling fleet. And if that happens, Sea Shepherd ships will once again return to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to continue our interventions against unlawful Japanese commercial whaling activities.
There have been a few critics who have been advising us to lay off Japan because of the recent disasters. The point is that Sea Shepherd interventions are not targeting the Japanese people. We are addressing unlawful activities - whale poachers in an area far from Japan, the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, where whales are supposedly protected by law.
Would the war against drug trafficking be put on hold if Colombia has an earthquake? Would we stop opposing shark finning by Chinese longliners off Latin America if China suffers an earthquake? The answer is "no." Natural disasters cannot be used as a justification for illegal activity including the violations of international conservation law.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is dedicated to shutting down all illegal whaling activity by anyone, anywhere, for any reason. There can be no discrimination. Poaching is poaching and not only is it ethically wrong - it's a crime!