From the Greenpeace International website: “Japanese police have arrested two Greenpeace activists for exposing a whale meat scandal involving the government-sponsored whaling programme. The two activists, Junichi Sato, 31, and Toru Suzuki, 41, are being investigated for allegedly stealing a box of whale meat which they presented as evidence.”
Junichi is a friend of mine. While we’re holding back on unleashing the cyberdogs or calling in Amnesty on this one until we see if there’s a way to get him and Toru out of jail, please Digg this story and watch for an action ask. Powerful forces in Japan have decided to strike back, and we can’t let them get away with it.
This is an attack on Greenpeace in Japan. The biggest giveaway? The first clue we had that Junichi and Toru were to be arrested came from television media in Japan ringing up to ask if we had a comment on the “impending arrest.” So it was leaked to television beforehand, presumably to ensure images of Greenpeace activists in handcuffs. In Japan, 90% of those arrested are convicted, so the presumption of guilt is very strong. The police then raided five locations — the activists’ homes, our two offices, and the hotel where Junichi was staying. A phone call would have brought them in — we documented every step of how we obtained the whale meat box and turned it over to the prosecutor. We made it clear that Junichi and everyone else involved were available day or night to help in the investigation.
So why the heavyhanded treatment? Could it be we hit a nerve with somebody? Watch this space, this could get ugly. Under Japanese law, Junichi and Toru can be held for a month without charges. And if the authorities were honest, those charges would be “embarassing corrupt Japanese officials that don’t like a spotlight being shown upon their cosy little operation which is bilking Japanese taxpayers out of US$4.7 million a year to kill whales for science nobody needs and whale meat that nobody buys.” In my book, that ain’t a crime.