Sabotage activities by Sea Shepherd against Japan’s scientific whale research vessels
Japan’s scientific whale research
❍ The Government of Japan (GOJ) is of the view that cetaceans should be used in a
sustainable manner based on international law and science, as is the case with the other
marine living resources. The GOJ conducts whale research for the purpose of compiling
information and data to be used as the scientific basis for the management of
❍ The GOJ has compiled useful data through the past research and made the results available
to the world. As a result of the past research, the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling
Commission (IWC) agrees that certain cetaceans are abundant. (see Attachment 1(PDF : 148KB))
❍ In addition, the New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A,
2015-) duly takes into account the 2014 Judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and is conducted in full accordance with international law such as International
Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). (see Attachiment 2(PDF : 226KB))
Past sabotage activities by Sea Shepherd
❍ In the past, with the intention of sabotaging Japan’s research in the Antarctic Ocean, the
anti-whaling organization, Sea Shepherd (SS), has repeatedly conducted extremely
dangerous activities, such as having its vessels collide with Japan’s research vessels,
entangling propellers of the research vessels with rope, and throwing bottles with chemicals
against the crews. (see Attachment 3(PDF : 474KB))
❍ As a result, Japan’s research ships were damaged and the crews were exposed to extremely
❍ Extremely dangerous situations have continued. For example, the GOJ has even been forced to
cut short the research since it could not ensure safety of the research fleet and the crew due
to repeated sabotage activities by SS.
The lawsuit and settlement in the U.S.
❍ In December 2011, the Institute of Cetacean Research et al. filed a lawsuit at the U.S.
District Court in Washington against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and Paul
Watson (here in after referred to as “Defendant”), who played a central role in sabotage
activities, in order to stop their sabotages against Japan’s research fleet.
❍ In August 2016, settlement was agreed between the parties concerned, and accordingly the
judgment on the case was concluded as the follows. (see Attachment 4(PDF : 227KB))
1) Defendants are permanently enjoined from physically attacking the research vessels
or from navigating in a manner that is likely to endanger the safe navigation of any
2) In no event shall Defendants approach the research vessels any closer than 500 yards.
3) Defendants and any party acting in concert with them are also permanently enjoined
from collecting or providing any money for sabotage activities against the research
Announcement of anti-whaling campaign by SS against the whale research in
❍ In spite of the judgment in the U.S., SS, alleging that the judgment does not apply to any
organizations other than SSCS, has started calling for donations and announced that it
would conduct its anti-whaling campaign against Japan’s whale research in the Antarctic
Ocean in this season.
❍ SS threatens, stating that the organization’s 11th Antarctic campaign would be “one of its
most destructive” and “will deliver the death blow to [whaling] industry”.
❍ SS vessels including the newly constructed vessel, the Ocean Warrior, left Australia towards
the Antarctic Ocean on the 4th of December.
Counter-Measures by Japan
❍ Dangerous sabotage activities by SS threatening Japan’s research vessels and the lives and
the properties their crews can never be tolerated.
❍ In countering sabotage activities by SS, the GOJ, including the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ), and relevant administrative bodies, are working together so that the research can be
conducted safely and smoothly.
❍ For instance, the GOJ conducts the following safety measures in preparation for sabotage
activities. (Some measures are not disclosed for safety reasons.)
1) FAJ dispatches a vessel for ensure safety of Japan’s scientific whale research vessels and their crews.
2) The GOJ requests the flag States and the port States of SS vessels to take effective measures
against dangerous sabotage activities by SS.
❍ In order to prevent future sabotage activities by SS, the GOJ will take every possible measure,
diplomatically and legally, to hold the individuals and organizations accountable for their
engagement in sabotage activities against Japan’s whale research.