Debate whaling or kill yourselves, Sea Shepherd tells Japan

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is challenging the government of Japan to justify its so-called research that requires hunting and killing whales. If the Japanese do not debate, they should ritually kill themselves, the society said. The Sea Shepherd organization is led by Paul Watson, the feisty environmentalist who has tangled with fishermen seeking shark fins off the Pacific coast.

This time the organization seeks an open debate with the Japanese Tuesday when there is a meeting in Shimonoseki, Japan. A total of 27 countries and regions in support of whaling, including Iceland and Norway, will attend the two-day meeting to discuss future negotiation policies on commercial whaling, said the society.

With only weeks away from the start of Japan’s illegal whaling season in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, this is Japan’s last chance to defend their so-called research whaling before the Sea Shepherd fleet sets sail for Antarctic waters to uphold international conservation laws, said the society.

Japan claims that their whaling is for scientific research only, although it benefits from a government subsidy of over one billion yen a year, it noted.

Since this whaling is done in the name of science, and if it is not fraudulent pseudoscience, Japan’s Institute for
Cetacean Research should welcome the opportunity to present its research arguments and findings to the many millions of anti-whaling supporters who find Japan’s research completely lacking in credibility and conscience, said the society.

Capt. Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, commented on their proposal, “We are so confident that we will win this debate, that we are willing to come into the lion’s den and send in our least experienced staff member. Someone would need to be very extremely ignorant to fail to beat even the most experienced pro-whaling debater at the conference, given how pointless, cruel, and unethical whaling is. If Japan doesn’t allow us the chance to debate, then they leave us no choice but to set sail and defend the lives of whales.”

If Japan will not accept Sea Shepherd’s offer to debate, we will declare that the Institute for Cetacean Research and Japanese government leaders have completely destroyed their reputation in the name of tradition: Just as illegal whaling is claimed to be justified by tradition, not debating us is the modern equivalent of ritual suicide (seppuku), the society said. Ritual suicide is misnamed by many in the west as hara-kiri, but Sea Shepherd has too much respect for the cleansing power of this particular tradition to name it incorrectly, it said, adding:

The world awaits Japan’s acceptance of Sea Shepherd’s proposal to debate, or the names and date of seppuku.

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