Timeline:

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Japan on Dec. 8, 2011. Photo: ReutersCosta Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Japan on Dec. 8, 2011. Photo: ReutersOctober 2011: The Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research a.k.a., the Japanese whaling industry receives approximately $30 U.S. million dollars in tsunami relief funds to provide security to oppose Sea Shepherd's efforts to disrupt illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.  Ref: Below.

December 6 - 10th 2011: Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla visits Japan

December 8th 2011: According to a press release issued from Casa Presidencial. Costa Rica: On Thursday, December 8, commencing at 6:30 p.m. for around 30 minutes, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting with H.E. Mrs. Laura Chinchilla Miranda, President of the Republic of Costa Rica,

December 8th 2011. The Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research files suit against the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society demanding an injunction to stop Sea Shepherd vessels from disrupting illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Sea Shepherd is served legal papers on December 9th, 2011.

March 8th 2012: The Japanese whaling fleet retreats from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary two weeks early after taking only 26% of their intended target (267 killed). Sea Shepherd prevented the killing of 768 whales. The year before the Japanese whaling fleet had retreated on February 18th 2011 a month and a half early after taking only 17% of their intended target (172 killed). Sea Shepherd prevented the killing of 863 whales. In total Sea Shepherd Antarctic interventions have saved 3690 whales from the Japanese harpoons, costing the whalers a considerable amount of money,

March 19th, 2012: The order denying the Preliminary injunction requested by the Japanese Institute for Cetacean Research was issued on March 19th, 2012 in Seattle.

May 13th 2012: Captain Watson is arrested at Frankfurt airport in Germany on a warrant issued by Costa Rica on charges of endangering the lives of fishermen in April 2002.

The incident in 2002 did not cause any injuries or property damage and resulted from an intervention against a shark fin poaching operation in Guatemalan waters by a Costa Rican vessel Varadero I, that had been convicted of poaching in the Galapagos Islands in 2001. The Guatemalan government authorized the intervention and the entire incident was filmed for the award-winning film Sharkwater.

May 21st 2012: Captain Alex Cornelissen meets with the Costa Rican Environmental Minister who expresses an interest in having Sea Shepherd return to help protect Cocos Island.

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. Photo: APCosta Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. Photo: APJune 26th 2012: Japan gives $9 million U.S. dollars to the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) and Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAET) "We celebrate this substantial donation by the Japanese government," said the general manager of ICT Juan Carlos Borbon.

So within 6 months of the meeting between the President of Costa Rica and the Prime Minister of Japan, Captain Paul Watson is arrested on a ten-year-old charge from the Costa Rican government and Costa Rica receives $9 million dollars from the Japanese government for National Parks.

Here are the unanswered questions.

1. Was the Varadero I case and Captain Paul Watson discussed at the meeting of President Chinchilla and Prime Minister Noda on December 8th, 2011?

2. Why did Costa Rica issue a warrant ten years after the incident and around the same time that this meeting took place?

3. When was the $9 million dollars given by Japan to Costa Rica authorized?

4. Where did the funds come from? Were the funds from the Japanese Fishery Agency a part of the $30 million allocated from the tsunami relief fund?

5. What conditions were attached to the $9 million dollar contribution to Costa Rica by Japan?

6. Did Japan lobby Costa Rica to issue the extradition demand for Captain Paul Watson?

We don't expect answers from Costa Rica or Japan but there certainly is a great deal of circumstantial evidence to suggest that Japanese pressure had a hand in Costa Rica's decision to have Captain Watson arrested and detained in Germany awaiting extradition.

References to Tsunami Funds - The Institute for Cetacean Research has admitted this.

Click on the links below to read supporting articles from external sources:

Japan says some tsunami reconstruction funds going to whaling (CNN)

Japan using tsunami funds for whaling hunt (USA Today)

Use of Government Recovery Funds Stokes Japan Whaling Row (Wall Street Journal)

Japan funding whaling hunt with disaster budget (Seattle Times)

Japan tsunami relief funds go to save -- whaling (San Francisco Gate)

Japan whaling fleet accused of using tsunami disaster funds (The Guardian)

Japan Admits Tsunami Funds Used to Defend Whaling Fleet (Mother Jones Magazine)

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