Illegal Whaling Funded With Relief Money
It appears that the Sea Shepherd campaign to stop illegal Japanese whaling operations in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is having a serious political impact in addition to the massive profit losses by the whaling industry. Last week, the Japanese media reported that the whalers lost $20.5 million dollars USD last season because of Sea Shepherd interventions. This story was also reported in The New York Times and in the current edition of Newsweek.
This week, The Yomiuri Shimbun is reporting that the allocation of monies from the Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Fund towards non-disaster-related expenses is finally causing a political scandal in Japan.
A year ago when Captain Paul Watson publicly exposed the fact that some $30 million dollars had been allocated from the Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund specifically to oppose the operations of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, he was accused of lying by the Japanese government, despite a release from the Japanese Fishery Agency that the allocation had indeed been made. Other defenders of the whalers stated that the funds were allocated from taxes and not from the relief monies. At the time, the Japanese media did not express much interest in the allocation.
A year later, the Japanese media now seems to view this as a scandal, and indeed it is. The Japanese government has seriously abused the goodwill of people around the world by spending funds meant for victims of the Earthquake and the Tsunami on projects completely unrelated to the disaster, including illegal whale hunting.