national

Sea Shepherd pulls plug on campaign to disrupt Japan whale hunt

133 Comments
By EMMANUEL DUNAND

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2017 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

133 Comments
Login to comment

Japan has previously sought to close down the anti-whaling campaigns in court, saying Sea Shepherd activists ram their ships, snare propellers with ropes and harass crew with paint and stink bombs.

Usual biased AFP fails to mention that a US Federal Court agreed with them and called Sea Shepherd's actions "piracy".

3 ( +33 / -30 )

A little good news. The only thing lamer than the Japanese whaling industry is the Sea Shepherd and its crew of law-flouting, media-whoring gits.

2 ( +33 / -31 )

Well, let's see if Japan sticks to its reduced quota without SS impediment.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Yes, it's quota of non-endangered whales. ;)

-2 ( +24 / -26 )

We cannot compete with their military-grade technology."

If you hadn't escalated the confrontations to the point where Japan felt the need to use their satellites to protect their ships, just maybe you would still be out there.

Your actions of wishing to cause physical harm to the crews had a lot to with it too!

1 ( +31 / -30 )

Good. Bunch of hippie terrorists.

-6 ( +32 / -38 )

Guess those Donations no longer come in like they used to do. No more ship donations.

9 ( +24 / -15 )

Longer more detailed article, found also in German news.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-41078698

4 ( +5 / -1 )

l assume donations are down for an organization led by a self-aggrandizing eco-terrorist.

4 ( +27 / -23 )

maybe they got real jobs

-9 ( +20 / -29 )

Japanese consumers are not interested in this topic. People do not eat whale meat today. Who are eating whale meat in the world other than Japanese if any?

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

@domtoidi - Yes, it's quota of non-endangered whales. ;)

Yes, non-endangered, but protected in an international whale sanctuary, which Japan chooses to ignore. Whether they are plentiful or not is irrelevant. If I came to your house and cut all your prize roses because have plenty, would that be ok?

8 ( +28 / -20 )

The statement on the SS website says they are 'not abandoning the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary' but that since they cannot fight the Japanese military (why are my tax yen being used by the Japanese military in the Antarctic to support an illegal operation??) they need to formulate a new plan.

I wish them every success.

1 ( +28 / -27 )

an organization led by a self-aggrandizing eco-terrorist.

When I read that I wonder if you are referring to the Sea Shepherd or the men who harpoon whales that nobody wants to eat in a internationally protected sanctuary, in the of 'science'.

2 ( +23 / -21 )

Pretty sad Japan, get with the times.

10 ( +28 / -18 )

Tough crowd.

I absolutely support their intention, and I am very pleased that they have played a big part in shining a blowtorch on Japan's unbelievably arrogant and self-serving and illegal commercial whaling program. If you think it's anything other than that, you are deluded.

The upside for all of you now is that there will be far more delicious whale meat for you to enjoy.

Itadakimaaaasu!

-1 ( +19 / -20 )

maybe they got real jobs

Please elaborate.

These are incredibly brave women and men who have risked their lives to highlight not only the horrors of whaling but other marine animals.

http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/our-history.html

4 ( +25 / -21 )

i don't believe in crime. but, if i did, i would go to every supermarket in japan and glue a notice on every whale meat package, saying "danger mercury, illegal food".

i hate seeing whale meat in the seafood section. it stops me buying local fish and i have to eat tofu and cheese everyday instead.

SS are heroes. Shame on NZ and Australia. they make large amounts of tourist income from whale watching.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

maybe they got real jobs

I doubt it. People that go out in the ocean and play chicken with other ships are a menace and dangerous to the lives of their own crews and the crews of the whalers. They don't seem like the kind of people that would contribute to the economy.

0 ( +18 / -18 )

What's wrong with eating whale meat?

Ishmael, pass me harpoon. Arr!

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

domtoidiToday  07:12 am JST

Yes, it's quota of non-endangered whales . ;)

*Yes, it's [sic] quota of intelligent non-endangered whales *that Japan kills for no reason other than to thumb its nose at international conventions.

I fixed (most of) it for you.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

This is really in the hands of the Japanese people themselves. If no Japanese went near a piece of whale meat again the industry would collapse overnight. The responsibility lies squarely on the heads of the people who eat whale. By continuing to eat whale and introducing it to their children and grandchildren the cycle is never broken. I'm pretty sure the eating of Whale meat is simply a tradition in family's who have grown up with it and they identify this with being "Japanese" which is simply too unthinkable to break! Try telling these people that by not eating Whale meat doesn't make them "less" Japanese but I suspect you would have more success telling a water not to flow. Therein lies the problem!

Sponsors of organisations such as Sea Shepard, would be better served by embarking on a relentless publicly campaign to stigmatise the eating of Whale meat rather than harassing the whalers themselves. Go to the end user not the producer would be a better strategy.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

DisillusionedToday 07:56 am JST@domtoidi - Yes, it's quota of non-endangered whales. ;)

Yes, non-endangered, but protected in an international whale sanctuary

where the iwc has allowed japan to hunt under "scientific" conditions. therefore "[t]he ICR considers the activists' methods as constituting piracy, terrorism, and illegal harassment of the ICR fleet." you forgot that part.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

'...It was forced to call off the 2014-15 hunt after the International Court of Justice ruled its annual Antarctic foray was commercial, masquerading as science. But it resumed in late 2015.'

So flouting the law through a 'loophole' is fine to some folk. As though humans aren't causing the destruction of huge numbers of sea and land species 'accidentally', without this deliberate slaughter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pretty sad that whaling still continues at all

10 ( +21 / -11 )

What's wrong with eating whale meat?

Ishmael, pass me harpoon. Arr!

That misquote is to do with vengeance, rather than straightforward whales for food hunting.

What have the whales done to any of us? Who are we to cull these magnificent, sentient beings?

1 ( +16 / -15 )

I guess everybody need to think of a way to increase the whale population in the ocean as well as other species of marine life for the future of humanity and ecosystem.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This will only end if Japan's economy is hurt by the international community, say through sanctions and cancellations of trade agreements. But IWC continues to complain about Japan and there are no negative repercussions to continuing the whale hunt so why would they quit. Australia and NZ have a lot of cards they can play. They can pull out of the TPP in protest to the whaling (why the subject wasn't brought up during the negociations is beyond me), they can cancel all sorts of trade deals and agreements with Japan, they can end visa free travel... but they don't. There has been no serious diplomatic pressure on Japan outside of the IWC. So this saga will continue. Simple.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Because most of the world has lost interest in their antics.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

amount of uneaten frozen whale meat stockpiled in Japan has doubled to 4,600 tons between 2002 and 2012.

2.3 billion yen ($29 million) from Japan’s tsunami reconstruction budget for, you know, tsunami reconstruction or to put it toward propping up the country’s barbaric and widely condemned whale slaughter

don't get me on to dolphins.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Can someone please explain this contradiction by Japan.

Japan has previously sought to close down the anti-whaling campaigns in court...

And

It was forced to call off the 2014-15 hunt after the International Court of Justice ruled its annual Antarctic foray was commercial, masquerading as science. But it resumed in late 2015...

Perhaps it's just me, but it seems like Japan is using the courts when it's convenient.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Disillusioned - Yes, non-endangered, but protected in an international whale sanctuary, which Japan chooses to ignore.

Over 190 nations chose to ignore Australia's self-indulgent, arbitrary, and false, claim that it has control over INTERNATIONAL water. Only 4 nations recognize Australia's land/water grab.

It appears that the world is against the tactics repeatedly used by the eco-terrorist SS. Only those who advocate violence support the eco-terrorist SS tactics.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

this is great news, I hope I don't see Seashepard in the news anymore

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

I don't agree with whaling, but Sea Shepherd are a bunch of insufferable, smug, condescending criminals. The anti-whaling lobby has been damaged by Sea Shepherd and similar organisations.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

its not so much about consumption of whale meat. japan will continue whaling as whales eat too many fish!

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Only those who advocate violence support the eco-terrorist SS tactics.

Only those who advocate violence support the slaughter of marine mammals.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

its not so much about consumption of whale meat. japan will continue whaling as whales eat too many fish! lol another BS argument, whales were eating fish in the world oceans before humans were swinging from the trees. Japan seems to think it has the right over all others to take the fish for themselves. LOL

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I guess everybody need to think of a way to increase the whale population in the ocean as well as other species of marine life for the future of humanity and ecosystem. well given Japans record on tuna, whales and various other marine life its best not to take their advice on marine conservation

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Maybe they can instead focus on the Norwegians, they hunt many more whales than the Japanese. If they don't target the Norway and Faroe hunts now, then they are permanently damaging the plight of the anti-whaler by associating them with shallow hypocrisy and they can be ignored at all times in future.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

the iwc has allowed japan to hunt under "scientific" conditions

No. The wording of the IWC regulation is 'for purposes of scientific research'. The ICJ ruled that the whaling by Japan in the Southern Ocean/Antarctic has not been undertaken “for purposes of scientific research”. Japan later stated that it would no longer consider itself subject to the ICJ in matters "*concerning, or relating to research on, or conservation, management or exploitation of, living resources of the sea”* because, you know, when you can't win you just take your ball and go home and sulk.

whales eat too many fish!

If that's a reason to kill them, maybe Japan needs to start a drastic cull of people who eat bluefin tuna?

2 ( +13 / -11 )

I personally don't particularly like whale, i have tasted it but only because its in the school lunches in Japan.

That said though if you could hunt whales in a sustainable and humane way, then i have no problem with it.

What really pisses me off is that the Japanese government goes and wastes all these resources on something that most Japanese people don't even eat, pretty sure if you asked most of the students and teachers if they wanted whale in their school lunches they would say no.

So why the hell does the government keep supporting the industry?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is a wonderfully impressive and expensive shiny new $12 million custom-built ship. Little wonder Sea Sheppard are reluctant to see it sunk and the crew rescued by the whaling vessel it is chasing.  

Even so the government of Japan should respect the International Court of Justice ruling that its annual Antarctic foray was commercial, masquerading as science.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Maybe they got proper jobs

They don't seem like the kind of people who would contribute to the economy

If economic considerations bother you that much, it's strange that you don't turn your guns on an industry which isn't economically viable.

Stop wasting my bloody taxes on this nonsense.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

....So why the hell does the government keep supporting the industry?

Because there is a demand for it. Also in Canada, Norway, Iceland and the United States.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I think the real story here (if it is true) is that the military are using their satellites to protect whalers. With that NK nutter pinging missiles overhead they are wasting resources on protecting an industry that has virtually no market. You couldn’t make it up.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Schopenhauer: Japanese consumers are not interested in this topic

They should be - their (our) taxes are paying for a government ministry with military assistance to send fleets of ships across the world to hunt whales at great expense merely to provide a niche product desired by 1% of the population.

Not like there's anything better for the government to do with the money, like say providing more nursery places or whatever... or for the military to do with its satellites, like say North Korea...

Dukeleto: If no Japanese went near a piece of whale meat again the industry would collapse overnight

The industry would already collapse without government funding.

dcog9065: Maybe they can instead focus on the Norwegians, they hunt many more whales than the Japanese. If they don't target the Norway and Faroe hunts now

They already do.

Jimizo: Stop wasting my bloody taxes on this nonsense

Hear, hear

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Maybe they can instead focus on the Norwegians, they hunt many more whales than the Japanese. If they don't target the Norway and Faroe hunts now firstly Noway isnt part of the IWC disguising their hunts as research, secondly , much of the Norwegian catch is sold to Japan anyways.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

....So why the hell does the government keep supporting the industry?

Because there is a demand for it.

If there were a real demand for the product there would be no need for the government to prop it up with tax money. If people wanted it, it would fly off the shelves even at unsubsidised prices. They don't, and it doesn't sell even at subsidised prices. Force-feeding it to kids in their school dinners doesn't count as 'demand'.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

That is a wonderfully impressive and expensive shiny new $12 million custom-built ship yep all funded by donations, while the 25billion yen in yearly subsidies the whalers get not to mention the costs of satellite time and military wasting their resources protecting an industry that would die overnight without the huge taxpayer funded farce. the 10s billions of yen wasted on this over the past decades will never be recovered , ever. not in 100yrs of whaling. Just shows when it come to pride, J politicians stupidity is a bottomless pit. In the coming decades when todays generation retire with smaller pensions, less aged healthcare all because of a government that couldnt control its wasteful spending. The smarter ones can leave this country for greener pastures, the rest will be left here to suffer the consequences, but hey at least youll have that fatty chewy whale meat to feed your families courtesy of the J government.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

There are two pro viewpoints in this argument about whaling, and neither of them make sense: one argument goes that they (whales) are merely a resource, and talk of their intelligence, etc is ignored as it doesn't suit the pro-whalers' agenda. Another argument is that they eat all the fish - really? As far as I'm aware baleen whales only take krill and sardines... trawlers probably catch more fish.

Do I agree with what Sea Shepherd were doing? I agree with their aims - the eradication of all whaling - but not all of their methods.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

If they don't target the Norway and Faroe hunts now

Sea Shepherd has been actively opposing the 'grind' in the Faeroes for decades (since the mid-80s).

SS also announced three years ago that if Japan were to abide by the ICJ ruling and stop whaling, they would once more focus their anti-whaling efforts against Norway.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Send in the drones

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As much as Japan likes to portray its self as a lover of nature, it is anything but. If you can't kill it, concrete it.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

The lying delusional Watson really thinks he's important enough for Japan to send the MSDF after him? Is he familiar with Japanese law and politics? There is no way Japan would send the MSDF or sacrifice valuable satellite flyby time for some media-whoring hippies.

His delusions of grandeur and overinflated self-importance really knows no end...

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I'm so happy.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

The japanese simply dont care. In fact a lot of nationalism is wrapped up in this.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Best wishes to Sea Shepherd and every success as they revise their strategy to combat this barbaric and needless practice.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

The other side of this story is that Japan has been using military assets to support their commercial whaling (oh sorry, "research") completely on the other side of the planet. The only country in the world I am aware of who does such a thing.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Is there one shred of evidence that Japan used military assets against SS?

If there was, it would have broken the internet.

Hint: Aegis destroyers and men in sailor uniform tend to be rather conspicuous.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Look how few people here even recognize the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic to support a research whaling program. This is like when Watson claimed that a whaling ship had "shot him".

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

@Beerdeliveryguy & Ossan

uh...read the story a little more carefully. The claim is that Japan is using satellites, not ships. Entirely plausible given they would only need to pass overhead once every day or so to keep tabs on them.

"What we discovered is that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite and if they know where our ships are at any given moment, they can easily avoid us," he said in a statement.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Is anybody going to put forward a reason why tax money should be used to support this industry?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Minke whales are not endangered.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Ossan

Look how few people here even recognize the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic

No-one made such a claim.

domtoidi

Minke whales are not endangered

And that means my taxes aren't being wasted in hunting them?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Minke whales are not endangered. but many whales species did become endangered from whaling, Minke didnt because it wasnt hunted as much due to its smaller size. Now imagine if whaling started again on a large scale with todays large factory ships and multiple high speed harpoon boats. Japan cant even agree on quotas for endangered blue fin tuna, how would they manage to do it for whales.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

YoshitsuneToday  01:23 am JST

Ossan

Look how few people here even recognize the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic

No-one made such a claim.

Wrong. Paul Watson did. Read the article.

"What we discovered is that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite "

Military assets include satellites.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The claim is that Japan is using satellites, not ships. Entirely plausible given they would only need to pass overhead once every day or so to keep tabs on them.

Satellites have a finite amount of fuel. It requires huge amounts of fuel to change a satellite's course. I highly doubt that Japan would waste it's only surveillance satellite on Watson, when a military-band ship radar would be just as efficient, and Japan has a much more dangerous fat lunatic to the north to be wary of.

Remember, this is the same Watson who claimed Japanese whalers shot assault rifles at him.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Typo

Multi-band radar

1 ( +2 / -1 )

MlodinowAug. 30  10:38 pm JST

@Beerdeliveryguy & Ossan

uh...read the story a little more carefully. The claim is that Japan is using satellites, not ships. Entirely plausible given they would only need to pass overhead once every day or so to keep tabs on them.

I suggest YOU read the story more carefully. Unless you don't consider military satellites to be military assets. Nobody is talking about ships.

"What we discovered is that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

In the Link I gave, Paul is ranting heavily on NZ, USA & Australia for not doing enough and appeasing Japan. Sounds like he is hinting that location info could come from them too.

Unless he means the new Japan GPS satellites?

BTW, is painting the ship in splinter camo legal?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"What we discovered is that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite and if they know where our ships are at any given moment, they can easily avoid us," he said in a statement.

According to Watson, anyway. Not exactly the most truthful person on the planet.

We can't find those tricky whalers so they must be using military surveillance to keep track of our garbage scows. What a hoot!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

According to Watson, anyway. Not exactly the most truthful person on the planet.

That's quite ironic coming from someone who supports an entire industry that is based on a big, fat, whopping lie!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Ossan

Military assets include satellites

Haha, yes - but satellites orbit the Earth in space, they don't get "deployed to international waters near the antarctic", which was the claim you mendaciously claimed was made:

Look how few people here even recognize the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic

and then you say

Nobody is talking about ships

So what were you talking about with "assets in international waters"? Again, satellites are in space. Just admit you didn't read it properly and stop digging.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Can someone put forward a reason why tax money should be used to support this industry?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

More whales die from getting tangled in fishing gear and hit by ships than caught by whalers.

The fake (no nautical license) "captain" Paul Watson has been called "morally bankrupt" by the former Sea Shepard (real) captain.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

According to Watson, anyway. Not exactly the most truthful person on the planet. 

We can't find those tricky whalers so they must be using military surveillance to keep track of our garbage scows. What a hoot!

Choke on it, Watson. You lost at the game of seamanship.

He just can't admit that he lost the cat-and-mouse game to a ship that actually has a trained crew, not some protein-deficient attention-mongers. So, of course there has to be a sinister higher power in play.

Blah... I oppose the whaling, but I oppose this lying clown even more.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

More whales die from getting tangled in fishing gear and hit by ships than caught by whalers.

Is that an argument for spending taxes on whaling? If so, it's a complete non sequitur.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Right, I've got this question which has been bugging me while reading the comments here.

Is there any reason why tax money should be used to support this industry?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Is there any reason why tax money should be used to support this industry? because when its your pride at stake, but not your money , then its perfectly justified.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

YoshitsuneToday  10:55 am JST

Ossan

Military assets include satellites

Haha, yes - but satellites orbit the Earth in space, they don't get "deployed to international waters near the antarctic", which was the claim you mendaciously claimed was made:

Satellites physically orbit in space but their application is where they are deployed. If a satellite is used for surveillance over the Middle East, that is where they are "deployed". Give it rest.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

i hate seeing whale meat in the seafood section. it stops me buying local fish and i have to eat tofu and cheese everyday instead

Not sure if you are serious with that comment. If serious, you are being very over sensitive.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Look how few people here even recognize the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic

Almost as absurd and impossible as pouring hundreds of millions of yen of tax money into a dead industry in international waters near the antarctic?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If a satellite is used for surveillance over the Middle East, that is where they are "deployed". Give it rest

Hopeless. The only time a satellite gets "deployed" is when it gets deployed into orbit from the vehicle that took it up there. Beyond that point, the word makes no sense with relation to satellites in orbit. I'd advise you to give it a rest and stop digging, or better yet acknowledge the error.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No credible witness/authority has come forward to verify that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch eco-terrorist SS ship movements in real-time by satellite.

OTOH, Watson will say anything to keep his pro-violence supporters happy. If "those people" aren't using satellites, then the eco-terrorists SS simply look incompetent. Or broke.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

cleoToday  10:13 am JST

Look how few people here even recognize the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic

Almost as absurd and impossible as pouring hundreds of millions of yen of tax money into a dead industry in international waters near the antarctic?

If you don't like it then vote. Or do whatever to change it legally. But don't go cheering on an eco-terrorist organization that's headed by a chronic liar.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"What we discovered is that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite "

Means the deployment of a military asset.

Give it a rest and try to stay on topic.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Means the deployment of a military asset

Which is entirely believable and entirely possible. The satellites are there, why wouldn't they use them?

If you don't like it then vote.

?? My voting (how? where? when? for whom?) would somehow stop you posting and then trying feebly to defend claims that are obviously mistaken and off-target?

Admit it, you initially envisaged 'employing military surveillance' to mean warships sailing round the South Pole protecting the harpoonist losers and maybe actually shooting a Sea Shepherd vessel out of the water. Just admit you have a fertile imagination (and maybe indulged in a bit of wishful thinking?) ... and try to stay on topic.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

But don't go cheering on an eco-terrorist organization that's headed by a chronic liar.

So we should support your bunch of ocean-raping eco-terrorists in their chronic 'scientific research' lie instead should we? Thanks, but no thanks. We'll keep on supporting common sense instead of nationalistic pride if that's okay.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Give it a rest and try to stay on topic

Stay on topic? We are on topic. The article is (partly) about Watson's claim that military satellites are being used to aid the whalers. Your attack on posters here for believing that satellites were 'deployed' to the Antarctic has been shown for the nonsense it was, and yes I'd be glad to give it a rest.

You'd be better off pointing out that Watson doesn't appear to have offered any evidence for his claim, rather than continuing to waffle on down a semantic rabbit hole about the absurdity of 'deploying' satellites to the Southern Ocean.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

anybody going to put forward a reason why tax money should be used to support this industry?

Yes, the majority of Japanese support this.   Japanese don't like emotional, unlogical, unreasonable, unfair demands from outside.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Tina,

the majority of Japanese support this

You are not the majority. The majority neither support nor opppose it.

Japanese don't like emotional, unlogical, unreasonable, unfair demands

Nothing to do with being Japanese / non-Japanese. Insisting on wasting taxes on providing whale meat - a niche product for 1% of the population - when the money could go to child care, elderly care, etc etc, is both emotional and illogical.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes, the majority of Japanese support this.

That doesn't answer the question. By this logic North Koreans should be free to build and launch nuclear missiles.

And what's the logic in increasing your stocks of something that you already have several years stocks of? Why do want more of somethingt that people want less of? That's illogical.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 The satellites are there, why wouldn't they use them?

Surveillance satellites aren't "just there." They follow a very specific and meticulously planned orbital course and can only monitor regions in that course for several minutes every day.

Changing the satellite's course requires fuel to move in another orbital course. That course also has to be coordinated with the 200,000+ other orbiting objects to avoid collision. A satellite also has limited fuel; limiting the amount of times it can change course in its lifetime.

The US has several dozen surveillance satellites. Japan has one. There is no way they would they would use it for something as trivial as SS, who can be tracked and avoided with civilian ship radars. The military also does not provide intelligence to civilian entities, for a variety of security and constitutional reasons.

But hey, even if you're paranoid, it don't mean "they're" not after you, amirite, eh?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Satellite Data is shared among allies, so the data could come from AUS, NZ or USA Satellites as Paul has hinted on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AUS and NZ have no surveillance satellites.

Why would the US military cooperate with the whalers?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Did you read the BBC link I posted?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What link?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Beer guy,

The military also does not provide intelligence to civilian entities

But are the whalers a civilian entity? The ICR which operates the fleet is a government body.

It's true that Watson hasn't proven his claim, but nor is the claim inherently absurd.

You point out the difficulties of changing a satellite's orbit, but there would be no need to do so so it's mute. Most satellites orbit in such a fashion as to be able to 'see' all points on Earth; not all at the same time, of course, but they also orbit at a tremendous speed, many times per day, and could easily track a ship's movements without any orbital alterations required.

The question isn't whether they can do it (they can), or whether it would be prohibitively difficult (it wouldn't); the question is merely whether or not they have.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

cleoSep. 1  01:07 pm JST

Means the deployment of a military asset

Which is entirely believable and entirely possible. The satellites are there, why wouldn't they use them?

Do you honestly believe that with the current security concerns Japan is facing with respect to North Korea and China, that they have the luxury or desire to actually deploy any military surveillance capability on these eco-terrorists? Watson is known liar, claiming to have been "shot" by the whalers, claiming that the Whalers sunk the M/Y Ady Gil, when Peter Bethune eventually charged Watson with having ordered it scuttled. For whatever reason that Sea Shepherd is pulling out of the Antarctic, it has nothing to do with "Japan's military". The man is a chronic liar.

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2015/09/25/judge-rules-sea-shepherd-wrongfully-sank-whale-wars-vessel/

If you don't like it then vote.

?? My voting (how? where? when? for whom?) would somehow stop you posting and then trying feebly to defend claims that are obviously mistaken and off-target?

You live in Japan right? Do you have voting rights? Are there no candidates whom you could support who agree with your cause? Why is it that you appear to support a lawful solution to all issues except when it comes to whaling and Sea Shepherd?

Admit it, you initially envisaged 'employing military surveillance' to mean warships sailing round the South Pole protecting the harpoonist losers and maybe actually shooting a Sea Shepherd vessel out of the water. Just admit you have a fertile imagination (and maybe indulged in a bit of wishful thinking?) ... and try to stay on topic.

Incorrect. Watson said per he above article:

""What we discovered is that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite .."

He said "satellites" specifically. How does one construe "warships" from that? Don't be mislead by another poster who is unaware of what "deploy" and "employ" means and is wasting time arguing about nothing.

"de·ploy dəˈploi/ verb

bring into effective action; utilize."they are not always able to deploy this skill"

synonyms:use, utilize, employ, take advantage of, exploit; "

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Watson is known liar...

No kidding. A shrewd man when he need to incite anti-Japanese feelings in minds of uninformed followers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

YoshitsuneSep. 1  02:32 pm JST

Give it a rest and try to stay on topic

Stay on topic? We are on topic. The article is (partly) about Watson's claim that military satellites are being used to aid the whalers. Your attack on posters here for believing that satellites were 'deployed' to the Antarctic has been shown for the nonsense it was, and yes I'd be glad to give it a rest.

You'd be better off pointing out that Watson doesn't appear to have offered any evidence for his claim, rather than continuing to waffle on down a semantic rabbit hole about the absurdity of 'deploying' satellites to the Southern Ocean.

You are the only one waffling down a semantic rabbit hole because you don't know that "employ" and "deploy" are synonyms.

Watson's claim that Japan's military assets are being used against Sea Shepherd is nonsense. Or do YOU believe it too?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

 Most satellites orbit in such a fashion as to be able to 'see' all points on Earth; not all at the same time, of course, but they also orbit at a tremendous speed, many times per day, and could easily track a ship's movements without any orbital alterations required.

Maybe good enough for Google Earth, who update their photos twice a year, at best.

Not exactly the "real time military surveillance" Watson claims however.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

cleo - Which is entirely believable and entirely possible. The satellites are there, why wouldn't they use them?

Are you under the impression that military satellites are simply placed in sleep-mode while militaries wait for someone to request the location of a habitual, lying, nobody like Watson, or his eco-terrorist SS?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Do you honestly believe that with the current security concerns Japan is facing with respect to North Korea and China, that they have the luxury or desire to actually deploy any military surveillance capability on these eco-terrorists?

Given the fact that with the current economic concerns Japan has been facing for literally decades now, the government sees fit to throw away hundreds of millions of yen each year on subsidising a dead industry - yup. Wouldn't put it past them.

You live in Japan right? Do you have voting rights?

Yes. No. I'm denied citizenship unless I renounce the nationality of my birth. Not gonna happen.

Why is it that you appear to support a lawful solution to all issues except when it comes to whaling

I do support a lawful solution. The Japanese 'research' programme in the Southern Ocean is commercial whaling in all but name, and has been ruled illegal by the ICJ. The lawful solution that I support is that Japan stop this unseemly and illegal farce at once, and leave the darn whales alone.

He said "satellites" specifically. How does one construe "warships" from that?

By surmising that on seeing the words 'military surveillance' and 'military-grade technology', you imagined that meant what you wanted it to mean. Why or how else would you get all hot about 'the absurdity and impossibility of Japan deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic'? If you had satellites in mind then international waters and the Antarctic don't come into it. Then when you were picked up on it you went back and started waving the dictionary about trying to prove that 'deploy a satellite' means no more than 'make use of its services'. Try googling the phrase; you'll see it's used to mean 'put a satellite in place/in orbit'. So by waffling on about 'deploying military assets (satellites) you're suggesting that Watson is claiming Japan is putting satellites up there just to watch Sea Shepherd, which is of course nonsense. So please either admit that you got the wrong end of the stick about 'military-grade technology', or admit that your use of deploy in deploy satellites was mistaken/misleading.

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/benefits/cubesat

arrestpaul - please don't be silly. You can do much better.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Beer guy,

Sorry mate but you don't appear to grasp how satellites work. Google Earth is totally irrelevant, and a ship doesn't move anywhere near fast enough to move out of the field of view of an orbiting satellite between passes.

Ossan,

Watson's claim that Japan's military assets are being used against Sea Shepherd is nonsense. Or do YOU believe it too?

I'm merely pointing out that a satellite could easily be used this way, while also pointing out that you initially appeared to mistakenly be talking about ocean-going military assets rather than orbital.

Do you honestly believe that with the current security concerns Japan is facing with respect to North Korea and China, that they have the luxury or desire to actually deploy any military surveillance capability on these eco-terrorists?

Again, the suggestion is not inherently absurd. It certainly doesn't represent a 'luxury'. They could do it easily. Whether they have the desire is more pertinent - and given how illogical nationalists tend to be, it wouldn't come as a big surprise if they did.

He said "satellites" specifically. How does one construe "warships" from that?

One does not, yet you apparently did so when you said "deploying military assets in international waters near the antarctic".

You are the only one waffling down a semantic rabbit hole because you don't know that "employ" and "deploy" are synonyms

In some senses they are, but not this one. Not when you're talking about satellites. Deployment of a satellite specifically means insertion into orbit from a delivery vehicle, and a satellite can't be deployed 'near the antarctic' unless it is initially deployed into geosynchronous orbit there (though of course if you'd actually been talking about satellites you'd have said 'above', not 'near' or 'in')

But anyway, it's by-the-by - you said "military assets deployed in international waters", and that really doesn't make sense with relation to satellites, not because of the semantics of 'deployed', but because satellites simply don't go in water. They don't get deployed in international waters, they don't get employed in international waters. The writer of this sentence appears to have been talking about ships. Honestly, stop digging! You made a mistake, but it's no big deal. We can still discuss the merits of Watson's claim - but you need to do so based on the likelihood of the Japanese govt deciding to track SS with satellites, not on whether the suggestion is inherently feasible in the first place.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Google Earth is totally irrelevant, and a ship doesn't move anywhere near fast enough to move out of the field of view of an orbiting satellite between passes

The fastest satellites orbit once in six hours. If the satellite is trained on a course to cover the entire earth, it would still be a few days before it enters the same region again.

Ships of the size SS owns have a speed of roughly 40~50kph they could be in Chile by the time the satellite swung around again.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The fastest satellites orbit once in six hours

Where are you getting that nonsense from? 90ish minutes is the usual orbital period for satellites of the type being discussed. (Those higher up with longer orbital times are usually comms relays. And they're not 'slower', they're further away).

If the satellite is trained on a course to cover the entire earth, it would still be a few days before it enters the same region again.

This makes no sense. A satellite doesn't 'cover the earth', it orbits it - you must remember that at the same time, the earth is rotating, and if the satellite is orbiting around the poles i.e. longitudinally it can therefore cover the whole earth - the longitude at which any given point is located will then pass directly under the line of the satellite's orbit twice per 24hr revolution. The satellite's sensors also cover a swathe of the surface, meaning the give point will also pass through that swathe both before and after passing directly under the satellite's orbit. At most, there's a period of a few hours where the given point isn't seen by said satellite, before it comes into view again on the other side. And, no, a ship at 50 kph can't move far enough to give a satellite the slip in just a few hours.

If you actually care to increase your knowledge, I don't have time to do it but I just hit this on Google which seems to cover it well:

https://www.rap.ucar.edu/~djohnson/satellite/coverage.html

A relevant passage reads:

"A satellite in lower Earth orbits is better positioned to obtain high quality remote-sensing data. If placed in a polar orbit, the Earth will rotate beneath the orbiting satellite allow global coverage from a single satellite. The critical design goal then is to place the satellite in an orbit that is low enough to permit a relatively short orbital period while at the same time the orbit is high enough to permit observation of a wide enough swath so that during a single orbit the Earth will rotate by less than the scan swath of the satellite's instrumentation. By placing a satellite at an altitude of about 850 km, you get an orbital period of roughly 100 minutes. At this altitude, you can get true global coverage if the scan swath of the satellite's instrumenation is about 3000 km."

Again, there is nothing absurd to the claim that a satellite can track a ship's movements. It is perfectly feasible. Again, the question is not "can this be done?" because it obviously can. The question is simply whether it actually was done as Watson claimed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No one is contesting whether ships can be tracked by satellite. The question is, why would Japan sacrifice valuable assets on tracking SS when a ship radar can be just as efficient. Not to mention the security and constitutional red tape.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No one is contesting whether ships can be tracked by satellite

Well, you were for your last several posts. I'm glad we're moving on.

why would Japan sacrifice valuable assets on tracking SS

There is no 'sacrifice of assets' involved, other than directing the sensors and the attention of the technicians to the task.

when a ship radar can be just as efficient

How? That would involve sending a ship to physically track, which would be far less efficient.

As for 'constitutional red tape', tell us what does the constitution say about tracking ships with satellites?!

The question isn't could the govt do this (they could), or whether they'd want to; the question is simply whether or not they actually did so.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Beer, You could also ask why Japan sacrifices valuable financial assets to support whaling in the first place?

Anyway, I'd be interested in seeing the proof of Watson's claims. I can't seem to find any sources for it, he could just be talking rubbish. But then again, it wouldn't surprise me if it were true; whaling is more about Japanese pride than the scientific research / tradition / protein sources tosh that they usually claim it to be.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is no 'sacrifice of assets' involved, other than directing the sensors and the attention of the technicians to the task

Sensors and human attention that are busy monitoring NK and Japan's remote islands. Why would Japan divert these assets?

A ship radar typical of the class and size, can monitor more than 50km out. More than enough to out maneuver SS.

There was recently a huge scandal involving police using GPS tracking and CCD footage without a warrant. You think use of a military satellite has less red tape?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sensors and human attention that are busy monitoring NK and Japan's remote islands. Why would Japan divert these assets?

Are you still not getting it?

The sensors are trained on NK when NK is in the swathe of the satellite's sensors.

The same sensors could track a SS ship when the same satellite passes over the part of the earth where the ship is.

As the ship is nowhere near NK, the one does not affect the other. Surely you understand this.

As for Japan's remote islands, Japan is actively patrolling them with ships & planes, and has personnel and radar installed on many of them, and again they're nowhere near the Southern Ocean, so that's just completely irrelevant. You're just throwing random stuff out now.

A ship radar typical of the class and size, can monitor more than 50km out. More than enough to out maneuver SS.

Of course it could. But your point was that a ship would be more efficient than using a satellite. It obviously would not, as you would have to physically send the ship and its crew out there to do it - a ship and crew that you need for more important matters - like patrolling your remote islands. Whereas a satellite is already up there, already orbiting. Far more efficient.

You think use of a military satellite has less red tape?

There you go. This is what you should've been arguing all along, instead of all your above flounderings about orbits and radars. I don't know what red tape or constitutional clauses govern the permitted uses of Japanese satellites - that's why I asked you to inform us. Given you answered the question with a question, it seems you don't know either, so we're just speculating. But if there is doubt about Watson's claim, this is where it comes from.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The whaler ship already is equipped with radar. As are most ships. No need to send additional ships.

A soldier can be discharged for something as minor as using an army vehicle for a shopping run. There are strict regulations on the use of military equipment.

This article states that the satellite is considered military equipment, and its use is limited to military purposes. However it can be used to relay civilian communications in event of an emergency.

It also says that it is in geostationary orbit over Japan and can only cover as far as the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

https://hbol.jp/127228

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Japanese consumers are not interested in this topic. People do not eat whale meat today. Who are eating whale meat in the world other than Japanese if any?"

Really? Then why are the Japanese so dead set on continuing hunting them (and don't give me that "research" rubbish!) ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The whaler ship already is equipped with radar. As are most ships. No need to send additional ships.

But the whaling ships are not able to outmanoeuvre SS, whose ship was specifically designed for the express purpose of chasing & outmanoeuvring them - proof is in the pudding, as seen in previous hunting seasons when the whalers did in fact completely fail to outmanoeuvre or outrun SS. C'mon man, your claim that the whaling fleet's radars already enable them to outmanoeuvre SS doesn't stand up to even the briefest knowledge of the recent history between them. A military ship would be required to track & outmanoeuvre SS - which, again, is obviously less efficient than using a satellite to track them.

There are strict regulations on the use of military equipment. This article states that the satellite is considered military equipment, and its use is limited to military purposes.

Sure. The whaling fleet is operated by the ICR, a govt body; could the protection of an effectively govt-owned fleet not be considered a legit military purpose?

It also says that it is in geostationary orbit over Japan and can only cover as far as the Indian Ocean and South China Sea

Is that Japan's only satellite?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, as of now, it is Japan's only military satellite.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 proof is in the pudding, as seen in previous hunting seasons when the whalers did in fact completely fail to outmanoeuvre or outrun SS.

Wasn't Watson complaining in the news a few years ago, that the whaling fleet was splitting up in different directions, expanding hunting grounds and using "decoy tactics" to evade him? Why blame it on satellites that Japan does not even have in the region now?

http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/02/17/japanese-whalers-evade-sea-shepherd-southern-ocean

0 ( +1 / -1 )

aye, they had their cat-and-mouse shenanigans, but fact is SS did successfully find them and disrupt the hunt, year after year; ergo, no the whalers can't outmanoeuvre SS with their onboard radars. It would take a military ship. Satellite data is clearly more efficient.

it is Japan's only military satellite

More specifically, it is the only satellite owned by the Ministry of Defence. But is that the only satellite the military gets data from?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Militaries around the world use information from a variety of military and civilian satellites. Weather, communications, GPS, etc.

However, if the whalers were getting information from a civilian maritime traffic monitor, it wouldn't be the "military power of an economic superpower" then, would it? It's called downloading a free app.

https://www.vesselfinder.com/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

if the whalers were getting information from a civilian maritime traffic monitor, it wouldn't be the "military power of an economic superpower" then, would it?

No, but if they're getting information from the military it would. Who said anything about civilian maritime traffic monitors?! Irrelevant. Even if the military itself only owns one satellite, and even if the military's satellite is in geosynchronous orbit above the wrong point, the military is analysing data from other satellites and could use that to track SS

Without more details it's hard to know if Watson's claim has veracity or not. But it's certainly not an absurd suggestion as you initially set out to claim on technological grounds; it's both technically feasible to do it, and easy to see the motive LDP politicians would have for doing it, if legally permissible. That's the question mark.

Regardless Watson's character & record, and regardless the veracity of Watson's claims about satellites being used to track SS, the whaling program remains a complete, utter and total waste of taxes, and as a Japanese taxpayer I remain completely and utterly opposed to having a portion of my taxes wasted on providing a niche food product for 1% of the population for little reason beyond national pride, saving face, and keeping the amakudari gravy train rolling for the ICR and the oyaji running it, when there are far more pressing things they could be used for.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm against misuse of tax funds as well. But let's not strain to turn this into some grandiose sinister military covert op.

Look what I, some random dude with an outdated iPhone and crappy wifi connection was able to do.

I located the Ocean warrior:

https://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9791262

And the Nisshin Maru:

https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/NISSHIN-MARU-IMO-8705292-MMSI-431683000

And I didn't even pay the membership fee.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

szero25

Detective work is mostly using one's legs and asking many questions. There are a few motives to consider: 1 - jealous or spurned lover: Nope, the whales didn't spurn anyone. 2 - grudge: Nope, the whales didn't do anything to you or yours. 3 - Follow the money: Umm, I'll get back to you on that, there's a person wearing an expensive suit who wants to chat with me...

Follow Up: Nope, it's not the money. Definitely not the money. In fact, forget I even commented.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The statement on the SS website says they are 'not abandoning the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary' 

There's nothing to abandon. There is no sanctuary; just a bogus extra-territorial claim.

This will only end if Japan's economy is hurt by the international community, say through sanctions and cancellations of trade agreements.

It's already hurting Japan--rightly or wrongly--by poisoning the Japanese brand in Australia or elsewhere. Car makers and export-oriented electronics companies should be leading the charge against Japanese whaling.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If there were a real demand for the product there would be no need for the government to prop it up with tax money. 

Government subsidies are no proof of lack of demand. The government props up rice farmers. Do you think there's a lack of rice demand?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Beer DeliveryGuy -

From your links:

Ocean Warrior : last received ship position Aug 24 2017

Nisshin Maru : last received ship position Jun 16 2017

I don't think that level of data would be much help to whale killers and whale savers chasing each other round the Antarctic in real time.

Maybe the Whalers took the dastardly military step of paying the membership fee.

There is no sanctuary; just a bogus extra-territorial claim.

From the IWC website : Two Sanctuaries are currently designated by the International Whaling Commission, both of which prohibit commercial whaling. The first of these, the Indian Ocean Sanctuary, was established in 1979 and covers the whole of the Indian Ocean south to 55°S.

*The second was adopted in 1994 and covers the waters of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica**.*

https://iwc.int/sanctuaries

It's the claim that there is no sanctuary that is bogus. Japan simply ignores it.

Government subsidies are no proof of lack of demand. The government props up rice farmers. Do you think there's a lack of rice demand?

Rice is a recognised essential staple, on which basically the entire population of Japan relies. Propping up the rice farmers is seen as a matter of national security. And the rice farming vote at election time is three times stronger than the vote of ordinary mortals. Of course the government props up the rice farmers. (During the 1993 panic when the rice crop failed, the price of rice soared for all that the government tried to keep it under control - and still the domestic rice, low in quality and high in price, flew off the shelves while the imported rice was left dumped in shop doorways.)

Whale meat is eaten as a delicacy or a novelty by a minuscule proportion of the population, averaging out at around 30 grammes per year for every man, woman and child in the country. It is not a staple. If it were not subsidised the price would go up and that 30 grammes would shrivel still more. Japan has plenty of other tasty delicacies and novelties for people to nibble on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ocean Warrior : last received ship position Aug 24 2017

Nisshin Maru : last received ship position Jun 16 2017

I don't think that level of data would be much help to whale killers and whale savers chasing each other round the Antarctic in real time. 

Maybe the Whalers took the dastardly military step of paying the membership fee.

Yes, the realtime tracking does require paying the premium membership fee.

I guess I'm too cheap to pay that just to prove a point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sea Shepherd pulls plug on campaign to disrupt Japan whale hunt

The results speak for themselves. It appears that the eco-terrorist SS are running out of fuel, or donations.

Watson's unsubstantiated (ie not supported by facts) claim that Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real-time by satellite sounds like a good excuse to explain his poor performance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So it means that nobody can stop Japan from extermination of whales? This is very sad, humanity will fall a victim to its own greed and ignorance, we are little more than ignorant brutes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Beer guy,

If it was that simple, I wonder why the whalers couldn't evade SS using your method? Answer: because knowing where a ship was 2 weeks ago doesn't help you today. Daft argument.

Nessie

Government subsidies are no proof of lack of demand. The government props up rice farmers. Do you think there's a lack of rice demand?

Obviously not, but with rice there's massive supply competition with cheaper imported rice available from SE Asia, hence the subsidies. As you're well aware already, whaling is a totally different matter, as there is no competition yet the government still needs to prop the industry up to keep it going. And when there was competition - Hvalur of Iceland exported thousands of tonnes of fin meat to Japan several years running recently - it caused so much Jaoanese whale meat to go unsold that the govt caused Hvalur as many difficulties as they could until Hvalur stopped whale hunting, citing the Japanese govt's trade barriers.

Pretty clear and empirical evidence of a lack of demand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yoshitsune - thanks for the excellent posts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good question. There are plenty of other similar apps as well.

Like I mentioned earlier, the realtime tracking is for premium members only.

What I linked was a free preview.

I ain't paying no premium membership because I'm neither evading or tracking a marine vessel of any kind, and I'd rather hit a pub tonight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And how do these apps track ships?

I would think by tracking their transponders - not hard to see how SS might get around that!

Anyway, enjoy your beers this evening. Kampai!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kampai!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites