Tuesday, 19 June 2007

We Love Japan, But Whaling Breaks Our Hearts

On Valentine's Day, Greenpeace protests during the second day of the  "International Whaling Commission Normalisation Meeting." The meeting  was called by Japan and supported by pro-whaling nations. Outside the  venue, Greenpeace Japan tries to present Valentine's Day whale-shaped  chocolates to the pro-whaling delegates attending the meeting.

On Valentine's Day, Greenpeace protests during the second day of the "International Whaling Commission Normalisation Meeting." The meeting was called by Japan and supported by pro-whaling nations. Outside the venue, Greenpeace Japan tries to present Valentine's Day whale-shaped chocolates to the pro-whaling delegates attending the meeting.

Tokyo, Japan — Greenpeace activists took to the streets across the globe on Valentine’s Day to send a message of love to Japan from twenty-eight different countries, while at the same time demanding the government end high seas whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

In Tokyo, Greenpeace volunteers carried a giant Valentine’s card, addressed to pro-whaling members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), currently meeting to discuss "normalising" the Commission, which read: "Normalization Means Protection, Not Whaling"

A fax was also sent to the Nisshin Maru – the factory ship of the whaling fleet, which read:

“We Love Japan, but Whaling Breaks Our Hearts! 69 % of your fellow Japanese do not support what you are doing in the Sanctuary and there is virtually no market for what you are producing. The "research" you have been ordered to carry out is not wanted by scientists and the meat is not wanted by the Japanese people. On this Valentine's Day, a day for spreading love, we ask once again that you leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and return to port.”

Elsewhere, flowers, hearts, chocolates, kisses and romantic gondola trips were delivered by Greenpeace activists to embassies and tourists in Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Fiji, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Thailand, Uruguay and the USA.

“This is not just frivolous fun. We want to send a clear message that we are not anti-Japanese, we simply oppose whaling,” said Junichi Sato, whales campaign leader in Greenpeace Japan. “We know that 69% of Japanese do not support what their government is doing in the Southern Ocean and 95% never or rarely eat whale meat. Whaling does not belong in the 21st Century and the only way forward for the IWC is to start working for the whales and not the whalers.” Sato added.

The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is in the Southern Ocean, tracking the whaling fleet. The expedition is the last leg of the Defending Our Oceans campaign (1), to expose all threats to the oceans, which began in November 2005 by sailing to the Southern Ocean, where activists prevented 82 whales from being killed, and also forced out the companies funding the hunt, by taking peaceful direct action.

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