8th July, 2014
Dear Prime Minster Shinzo Abe
Since 2002, the Sea Shepherd has been opposing unlawful Japanese whaling in the
Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
We have had ten campaigns to the Southern Ocean with our ships and international crews of volunteers.
During this time I am proud that we have been able to stop the killing of thousands of whales and we have done so without causing a single injury to any of the Japanese whalers. We believe in the sanctity of life and thus we have never injured another human being in the entire history of our movement.
Sea Shepherd volunteers go to the Southern Ocean to defend the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. We now have the verdict by the International Court of Justice that Japan's activities in the Southern Ocean since 1987 have been and continue to be unlawful. We believe this verdict vindicates our opposition to Japan's illegal activities over the last decade.
Your government initially stated that Japan would respect the verdict yet it is now Japans intention to return to the Southern Ocean in 2015 to resume illegal whaling activities in direct violation of this verdict.
On behalf of the Sea Shepherd volunteers worldwide I would like to respectfully request that Japan abide by the ICJ ruling and that Japan respects both the moratorium on commercial whaling and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
If the Japanese whaling fleet returns to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 2015, the ships and the volunteers from Sea Shepherd will also return to oppose any continued unlawful whaling activities.
Japan has no traditional claim or right to kill whales in the Southern Ocean. Japan has no right to target endangered Fin and Humpback whales and Japan has no right to kill whales in the Australian Antarctic Territory.
Sea Shepherd is not anti-Japanese. In fact we very much respect Japanese culture and traditions and we have had many Japanese citizens participate in our campaigns.
Sea Shepherd's opposition is based on the fact that it is unlawful to engage in commercial whaling and it is unlawful to kill whales in an internationally established whale sanctuary.
There is no need for this conflict to continue. Japan has no need to kill whales any longer. In fact whaling continues only because of subsidies from the Japanese government.
In return for ending whaling, Japan will gain the respect and admiration of conservationist around the world.
The whales of our oceans have suffered for centuries. It is time for humanity to end our brutality against the nation of whales. It is time for humanity to respect and protect life and diversity in our oceans.
I would like to see Japan become a great maritime conservation nation and to shed its present reputation as a nation that takes from the sea and gives nothing back.
Our ocean is dying Mr. Prime Minister and when the ocean dies, we will follow. We cannot live on this planet with a dead ocean.
I would like to see a world where Japan is a part of the solution to saving our ocean and
not one of the major problems.
And a good place to start is to comply with the International Court of Justice and to cease illegal operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
For our ocean and for the whales
Captain Paul Watson
Founder (1977) Sea Shepherd Conservation Society