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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution also clears whalers

Breaking news - multiple Japanese news sources (Jiji, Yomiuri for example) report that a Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution issued a decision dated April 22 that states that the non-prosecution of whaling ship crew members, who took whale meat home with them, was appropriate.

Self-proclaimed environmental NGO, Greenpeace Japan, had accused whaling crew members of "embezzling" some of the whale meat that eventuated from their ship's research whaling activities. The Tokyo First Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution determined that a decision by prosecutors in June 2008 to not prosecute (by reason of "no suspicion") 12 crew members of the research whaling vessel Nisshin Maru was "appropriate".

Greenpeace had recently lodged a complaint over this non-prosecution, requesting that the decision be reviewed. The resulting Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution (made up of 11 civilians selected at random) has now also recognised that the whale meat taken by the crew members consisted of souvenirs, the crew's food, and other meat that was unsuitable for further processing and would otherwise simply be disposed of, and that the owner, Kyodo Senpaku had approved the taking of this meat.

As such the Committee regarded the actions as not constituting embezzlement.

Meanwhile, 2 members of Greenpeace, which alleged the embezzlement by whalers, are currently on trial in Aomori after being arrested on charges of theft and trespass, for stealing a box of the whale meat from a transport depot in Aomori city that they later used for PR purposes when making their accusations amongst much media fanfare.

According to reports from the trial in Aomori, Greenpeace Japan has, rather than acknowledging their crimes and taking their punishment, continued to make claims of embezzlement in an attempt to try to "justify" the trespass and theft committed by their 2 members.

My take - now that even a committee of 11 non-government affiliated civilians has reviewed the situation, you'd think that everyone would accept that there was no embezzlement on the part of the whalers. However, Greenpeace Japan appears to be thriving off wasting tax payers time and money, and I suspect that they will still not accept this latest decision against their fabricated accusations of wrong-doing by whalers.


I notice you haven't released the whale stockpile figures for a few months. Just in case anyone reading the blog wants to know why I'll tell them. The reason is that the whale consumption has gone through the floor. There has been less eaten in the last few months than the equivalent period in many many years.

Face it, no one wants to eat Minke meat it. The only meat even teh die-hard whale meat fans want to eat is Fin/Sei/Brydes/Sperm.
Hi Anonymous, thanks for reading always.

The reason I haven't been posting the figures recently is because I had to adjust my priorities as is alluded to here, but let your imagination loose run wild if you wish. (Maybe you are with Greenpeace, which would explain that and why you are posting such a comment in response to this topic)

I have seen the whale inventory figures through the end of 2009, and no doubt whale consumption appears to have been relatively sluggish.

However I think the reason is not so much that suddenly "no one wants to eat Minke meat" as economic conditions have simply been bad all round, as everyone is aware. From what I gather from news reports other marine products such as tuna are also seeing relatively weak consumption, although I've yet to check figures in detail myself.

I hope to post the whale inventory figures through the end of 2009 along with such an analysis shortly.






I wish I could read Japanese ...
David, I'm through with many NGOs the last decade, as a matter of fact Greenpeace has in my opinion been one of the best , my favourites are though bird NGOs as Birdlife International and its national branches as they aren't brainwashed.

I have critized the Swedish NGOs Djurens Rätt ( Animal Rights) and Animal Hope , because they lack all inetgrity and are actually the enemies of animals. You can see on one of the staffs sites , how they have ads for the aquarium industry ( despite that PETA has critized the fish in the tank industry).

They have no idea what IUCN's Red List is. When I pointed out this for the NGOs, I got 2 death threats , the latest by telephone at April 13 th 16 pm. They told me that " measures are going to be taken with you , and we don't mean the police , and you will have a big accident". You would guess that the AR people are not hurting people, now they issue death threats against me!
The prosecutor's decision to clear KS/the ICR in the first place is based off what amounts to a one-page explanation that they had "investigated themselves and found no crime". Yes, very convincing. The PIC dismissing the charges without waiting for additional evidence that it was told would be provided in due course makes its decision even less convincing. Particularly considering it is still lead by a judge and is not wholly independent. If there is one thing that the Greenpeace trial has show repeatedly, is that the official story doesn't stack up. Every witness that has supposed to have supported the prosecution's side has contradicted their own statements, the official story, and the statements of other witnesses. This is an industry that only survives on taxpayer handouts and is rife with amakudari, how can anyone possibly argue that all is well?
Hi Joe, are you privy to the information that the prosecutors used when determining that there was no case to answer?

You seem a little confused about what the accusations were. They were that crew members of the whaling fleet had stolen meat. The meat legally belonged to Kyodo Senpaku. If KS are satisfied that their employees have not stolen from them, whether they write a 1 page report or a 100 page report the effect is the same, except writing a 100 page report would take more time and resources.

The ICR is indeed publicly funded. I would be happy to see commercial whaling resumed, and license fees used to fund the ICR instead of tax payers money.

However, the anti-whaling movement's opposition to whaling precludes this.

Amakudari is rife in the Japanese public service. It's a problem that is not specific to the whaling industry.
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