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Antiwhaling activist Pete Bethune is facing 5 criminal charges in connection with his intrusion onto a Japanese whaling vessel. What do you think about it?

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He deserves is...entering or someone property is illegal. well of course we all know it illegal lol xD

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Hope they throw the book at him and set an example for all extemist conservationist organizations that when going beyond lawful protesting there are consequences. By crawling onboard a Japanese ship unauthorized on the high seas, Bethune put himself in the jurisdiction of the ship's flag. Bethune isn't being charged with being anti-whaling or even protesting so "whaling" issues are irrelevant as a defense. An alarming number of people seem to think that one's position on whaling allows for breaking the law. What if everyone on the planet felt that their personal belief on any subject was valid justification for breaking the law? We would have utter chaos. And may every person who feels that Bethune is being unjustly charged have their homes broken into by someone carrying a knife. Watch how quickly the song will change. Not one goverment in the world including New Zealand and Australia have supported Bethune. A criminal is a criminal under the laws of all nations.

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i think he should be fined JPY30,000.- and released immediately.

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Pete Bethune = idiot. Hope he gets jail time.

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no time, a hefty fine and do The Daily Show.

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Foolish. The bigger deal they make out of this, the bigger deal the anti whaling ecotards will work themselves up into a froth.

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Serve him right.

He did an unbelievably stupid thing. Not just joining the SS, but climbing onto the whaler.

He wanted publicity, now he's got it. But it's not quite as romantic as he hoped.

Serve him right if he gets out in a year or two and finds that his wife's left him and shacked up with his boss or someone. But he's already writing his book I daresay, and if anyone buys it maybe he'll be able to pay the child maintenance and live a reasonable life. Maybe.

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If I throw a bottle at some other people or their property, damage their property, trespass on their property, violate weapons laws on their property, or ignore the spirit of sea laws and obstruct the passage of another vessel, I would fully expect to arrested and prosecuted for doing so.

Crimes must be and are punished in any law abiding society.

If Bethune were not to be treated in accordance with the law then it would send a very bad message out to other would-be criminals.

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I agree with Davidattokyo, minus the froth.

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And when they're done with him will they arrest and prosecute the captain of the Shonan Maru 2 for ramming and sinking his ship? Fair is fair!

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He clearly broke too many laws ,not just feel like to do it, and therefore deserve punishment. However I heard his lawyer said in Australian radio that the charge against Bethune is a JOKE, for that I have no idea. wait and see.

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@OssanAmerica "when going beyond lawful protesting there are consequences"

spot on comment

@Nessie "I agree with Davidattokyo, minus the froth."

lolz

@NuckinFutz "And when they're done with him will they arrest and prosecute the captain of the Shonan Maru 2 for ramming and sinking his ship? Fair is fair!"

As both parties claim the other is responsible and no hard, factual evidence has emerged to prove who is at fault, how can anyone see a single element of fairness in prosecuting the captain of the Shonan Maru 2?

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Mr. Bethune is honestly very lucky that he is only facing the 5 violations that he is.. he illegally boarded a ship carrying a knife with the stated intent of arresting the captain.. under maritime law he COULD have been charged with piracy. The laws that he broke all carry fines and the possibility of jail time and it would be in the interest of Japan to show the activists that when their protesting crosses the line into harassment, assault, criminal trespass, that there are penalties for breaking the law. There are much wiser methods of effective protest than breaking the law and i hope that message is made clear to all eco-terrorists by this sad, stupid incident.

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I think that idiot had it coming. I like whaling vessels I like deep fried whale. ANyway, why they care about the whales? there you go : http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=whales_suck

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I look forward to seeing him bow deeply and utter an apology in mangled japanese.

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10 years eatting squid & ,whale meat plus Japanese version of hard labor.

He will be buff and come out of jail like Bruce Lee

enter the dragon baby !!!!!

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In two months, Sea Shep will be in the Med, ramming Algerian and Sicilian tuna boats, and cutting French nets. Or so they say.

When that happens, the already disinterested international media will completely forget about Bethune.

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hokkaidoguy;

In two months, Sea Shep will be in the Med, ramming Algerian and Sicilian tuna boats, and cutting French nets

You mean they're not heading to Canada this year to help save all those poor seal pups from us barbaric Canadians?

I guess since Canada seized their ship last time SS tried that and has put it up for auction, they've learned to keep away. Imagine the uproar if Japan did something like that?

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stevecpfc at 09:01 PM JST - 5th April Why do peopl say he should ahve been charged with piracy? If he was a >pirate, you can bet he would have been charged.

Because Piracy was (and still is) one possible charge. You don't have to wear an eye patch with a peg leg or be Somali to be a pirate, you simply have to meet the legal qualifications. Apart from the climbing onboard and cutting the net which has already been addressed as well as his bottle throwing and such, he climbed onboard to make a demand that the Master of the SM2 pay him money for destroying the Ady Gil, all in his own words. The problem there is that there has no investigation of the SM2/AG collision by any authority and no judgement rendered by any authority of any country or any court of law of any country that has found the Master of the SM2 at fault and orders payment. Hence, Bethune's claim that the SM2 was at fault is about as legally valid as the SM2's claim that the Ady Gil was at fault. So Bethune's "demand" for money becomes just that; a demand for money. When you add a demand for money to climbing oboard a ship without warning and without permission, causing prporty damage in the process and demanding money, you have the basis of a piracy charge.

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The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines "piracy" in Article 101 as including "(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed: (i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft; . . .

I don't know the actual facts, but if he went from one ship to another, armed with a knife, for the purpose of demanding money from the captain of the ship he boarded, it would appear that a charge of piracy is appropriate.

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I hope the Japanese who were illegaly whaling in the Southern Ocean, which is nowhere near Japan, hurry up and realease him along with an apology.

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neverknow2 at 08:35 AM JST - 6th April I hope the Japanese who were illegaly whaling in the Southern Ocean, >which is nowhere near Japan, hurry up and realease him along with an >apology

They weren't whaling illegally as the IWC rules permit them to hunt for "scientific research" in he southern ocean including any "sancutaries". That's exactly why the IWC is workiung towards a compromise that would limit the number of whales taken but eliminate research whaling. Bethune on he other hand boarded a ship illegally. Best to get your facts straight cause nobody is going to be apologizing to this idiot.

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I think Bethune probably thought that he would get released. He is a first class idiot and he deserves all that he has coming to him. A warning to him and all other activists is that doing illegal acts is not the best way to further your cause.

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ONLY 5???!!! Japanese are really lenient towards this guy... Throw him in jail and let him meditate about it.. I hope the prison-kayu and miso soup tastes good (as he's eating it out of MY tax money)...

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@NuckinFutz

Sorry if my memory is letting me down but whlle watching the video, I recall seeing wake aft of Bethune's boat prior to the collision. As the whaling vessel would be unable to stop in time (try stopping a large boat the size of the whaler and see what I mean), Bethune's own actions were to blame.

Waste of a good boat. After reading up on him, I've changed my opinion on Bethune - he is probably quite smart, just misguided. I hope he wakes up to himself and realizes that acting like a drama queen is catering to the media. He should be remembered for reasons other than this.

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They should get me some time with Bethune.

Being a fellow kiwi and all, I'm sure I can explain to him the error of his ways, not to mention the goodness of sustainable whaling.

Then, with an apology for his behaviour, maybe Bethune can get off.

Give me a call.

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More media attention being cast on this issue in New Zealand now. Government ministers are being accused of pandering to the Whaling chaps. Prime minister is getting a bit of heat on being a limp wrister where the Japanese are concerned and the Japanese rugby team is going to run out of friendly host towns in 2011 if this farcical case proceeds. They are charging him with obstructing commerce which would not make it research so therefore the Japanese government is lying. Seems like they want to have it both ways.

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I think Bethune made a major miscalculation, mainly about which justice system he would be facing when he was taken into port. This isn't Australia anymore! And even if it was, he's had enough detractors in government circles to make his trial contestable by both sides, but again, he ain't in Australia anymore!

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He deserves punishment, but I'm a little shocked at how vicious you all are. The incident was one man on one occation. Though it is not all illegal, there is much much more wrong being done in the industry he was trying to make a stand against. Tone down your language against him. He's not an idiot, he's just a little misdirected and obsessive.

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Spudman, he's been charged with obstructing business, which is not the same as obstructing commerce.

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"obstruction of duty" is another translation of the charge that is being used right here at Japan Today. Funny the anti-whalers like spudman are so desperate to use a conveniently ambiguous English translation of a Japanese charge just to suit their arguments. Pretty vacuous!

takababababa - Commit a crime, do the time. Simple. Bethune is an idiot for thinking he would get a slap on the hand after all the dirty deeds he'd been up to. Either that or blinded to that reality by his anti-whaling zealotry.

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Just send him home, I'm sure the withdraw symptoms from his usual drug use aboard the SS expedition was unpleasant enough.

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"obstruction of duty" is another translation of the charge that is being used right here at Japan Today. Funny the anti-whalers like spudman are so desperate to use a conveniently ambiguous English translation of a Japanese charge just to suit their arguments. Pretty vacuous!

Just using the official Japanese government line as reported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Typical Japanese whaling shill tactics to change the story after the lie becomes apparent. This story is getting more and more traction in New Zealand as Murray Maccully gets called out for his lack of gumption.

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Just using the official Japanese government line as reported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The charge is 威力業務妨害. That doesn't translate to "obstruction of commerce". Sorry. NZ's MoFA has it wrong.

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spudman at 03:13 PM JST - 6th April More media attention being cast on this issue in New Zealand now. >Government ministers are being accused of pandering to the Whaling >chaps.

Accused by who, apart from Greens, Sea Shepherd and it's suppporters and now Bethune's father? (Hey Don..Peter's a big boy now)

takababababa at 04:22 PM JST - 6th April He's not an idiot, he's just a little misdirected and obsessive.

I disagree. Even leaving aside the whole whaling/protesting issue that he didn't seem to consider what he would put his family through is enough to call him an idiot.

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Sea Shepherd expected Captain Bethune to face a trespassing charge; this does not come as a surprise. But all additional charges are being made for purely political reasons, to set an example of Captain Bethune for alleged actions that are absolutely trivial in comparison to those of the Shonan Maru No. 2—whose captain is not even being investigated by Japanese authorities after ramming and sinking another vessel at sea. This is an embarrassment to the Japanese criminal justice system, a further slap in the face to the international community, and proof that Japan will continue to do what it wants regardless of international law or public opinion. Illegal whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the detention of a political prisoner: these things clearly reflect the blatant abuse of and political corruption within Japan’s domestic judicial system. These charges are bogus, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society questions the credibility of the entire Japanese judicial system for entertaining such absurdities

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Japantomorrow at 11:26 PM JST - 6th April

Sea Shepherd expected Captain Bethune to face a trespassing charge; this does not come as a surprise. But all additional charges are being made for purely political reasons, to set an example of Captain Bethune for alleged actions that are absolutely trivial in comparison to those of the Shonan Maru No. 2—whose captain is not even being investigated by Japanese authorities after ramming and sinking another vessel at sea. This is an embarrassment to the Japanese criminal justice system, a further slap in the face to the international community, and proof that Japan will continue to do what it wants regardless of international law or public opinion. Illegal whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the detention of a political prisoner: these things clearly reflect the blatant abuse of and political corruption within Japan’s domestic judicial system. These charges are bogus, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society questions the credibility of the entire Japanese judicial system for entertaining such absurdities

FACEPALM

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Of course if the Japanese judicial system intentionally ignored someone who committed trespass, assault, criminal damage, prevented someone from going about their business and carrying a dangerous weapon then that would show them to be more credible wouldn't it.

Welcome to the forum Japantomorrow, I've never seen you on here before so I presume that you're a new poster. Although you're writing style is strangely familiar to me, the person I'm thinking of claimed not to be a member of the SS, yet you are clearly speaking on behalf of the SS.

I hope that you enjoy your visit to this forum and please remember that whilst you may disagree with some of the contributors opinions, it's important to keep it cordial at all times.

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Japantomorrow at 11:26 PM JST - 6th April SamuraiBlue at 11:38 PM JST - 6th April Sea Shepherd expected Captain Bethune to face a trespassing charge; this >does not come as a surprise. But all additional charges are being made >for purely political reasons, to set an example of Captain Bethune for >alleged actions that are absolutely trivial in comparison to those of >the Shonan Maru No. 2—whose captain is not even being investigated by >Japanese authorities after ramming and sinking another vessel at sea.

Complete nonesense. NO AUTHORITY OF ANY COUNTRY has invesgigated the AG/SM2 collision. Japan does not have legal jurisdiction for collisions in international waters. The best that the JCG can do is to file a report on the collision.

This is an embarrassment to the Japanese criminal justice system, a >further slap in the face to the international community, and proof that >Japan will continue to do what it wants regardless of international law >or public opinion.

More nonsense. Not one foreign government including New Zealand and Australia has complained about Bethune being arrested and charged. That is because if he had done the same to a ship of their respective flags, he would have been arrested and charged likewise. International law and public opinion is on Japan's side as fas as Bethune is concerned.

Illegal whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the >detention of a political prisoner:

The whaling operations are not illegal, they are copmpletely legal under IWC Article VIII. Bethune is a prisoner as a simple criminal, nothing political about it in the slightest. Not even his own country cares about him.

these things clearly reflect the blatant abuse of and political >corruption within Japan’s domestic judicial system.

These comments clearly reflect the absurd bias and disconnection from reality of the poster.

These charges are bogus, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society questions >the credibility of the entire Japanese judicial system for entertaining >such absurdities

An organizaton classified by the US FBI as Eco-Terrirists, that has clashed with the Canadian and Norwegian Coast Guards is calling the charges against Betyune "bogus". How utterly convincing.

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charge them & Book em! im tired of these whales wars. I know Jp has played the race card, BUT why don't they stop whaling in the North also? more of an issue in the south? less whales? These clowns from sea sheppard are just looking for Attention. ive seen the episode where 2 of the protesters boaded a JP whaling ship, & it accomplished Nothing!

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Right or wrong, breaking the law means facing the law. If you want to protest by breaking the law then go ahead, just don't complain when they do exactly what you intended by locking you up. I'm not sure he has anything against being locked up, because this is actually part of the plan. What's the controversy here?

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SamuraiBlue at 11:38 PM JST - 6th April Japantomorrow at 11:26 PM JST - 6th April Sea Shepherd expected Captain Bethune to face a trespassing charge; this does not come as a surprise. But all additional charges are being made for purely political reasons, to set an example of Captain Bethune for alleged actions that are absolutely trivial in comparison to those of the Shonan Maru No. 2—whose captain is not even being investigated by Japanese authorities after ramming and sinking another vessel at sea. This is an embarrassment to the Japanese criminal justice system, a further slap in the face to the international community, and proof that Japan will continue to do what it wants regardless of international law or public opinion. Illegal whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the detention of a political prisoner: these things clearly reflect the blatant abuse of and political corruption within Japan’s domestic judicial system. These charges are bogus, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society questions the credibility of the entire Japanese judicial system for entertaining such absurdities FACEPALM Whats the point to paste and copy!!

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Just for those still interested in entertaining spudman's conspiracy theories, I checked around for the legal definition of "iryoku gyoumu bougai".

As expected, I found an explanation at the link below that says that in this case "gyoumu" is not limited to economic activity, but has a wider meaning of people's general repetitve social activities.

http://kotobank.jp/word/%E5%A8%81%E5%8A%9B%E6%A5%AD%E5%8B%99%E5%A6%A8%E5%AE%B3%E7%BD%AA

So to make out (as has been done in the Australian media too, if it's any consolation for spudman) that charging Bethune with obstruction of business is a "admission", that research whaling is not actually research, is just silly.

But people who looove whales will jump on anything to suit their agenda.

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I am just wondering what were they thinking. Byutric acid bombs? What happened to guns and torpedoes. Sink the whaling ships and we won't have to hear this crap over and over again.

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