Rather than pressuring the Japanese to stop whaling, the vigilante violence of the Sea Shepherds made it more difficult for Japanese diplomats to compromise in negotiations to reduce whaling according to documents released by WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks releases documents about anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd
Japanese and American officials discussed taking action to weaken a prominent anti-whaling group, with Tokyo insisting that Sea Shepherd’s confrontations on the high seas actually hurt efforts to reduce whaling, U.S. diplomatic cables show.
The U.S. representative to the International Whaling Commission, Monica Medina, discussed revoking the U.S.-based conservation group’s tax-exempt status during a meeting with senior officials from the Fisheries Agency of Japan in November 2009, according to the documents released by WikiLeaks on Monday.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s yearly protest campaigns — which chase Japan’s whaling fleet in boats trying to disrupt the hunt by fouling fishing lines and throwing rancid butter at whalers — have drawn high-profile donors and volunteers, and spawned the popular Animal Planet series “Whale Wars.” In Japan, the harassment is seen by some as foreign interference in national affairs, making politicians wary of getting involved.
Thanks to Neil Gallagher for passing the article along.