Eco-terrorist band Sea Shepherd’s harassment of Japan’s “scientific” whaling activity has paid off – the Japanese government has cancelled the hunt, being too gutless to do anything about their attacks.
The Japanese ship was immobilised in Antarctic waters and subsequently sent out an SOS, which was unsurprisingly ignored by Sea Shepherd.
The whalers subsequently limped home, their hunt cancelled, and as ever the Japanese government weakly denounced the incident as “regrettable” but did nothing – the Japanese foreign minister had this to say:
“We cannot forgive this dangerous and illegal intimidation of our perfectly legal survey activities, which endangered the lives of the crew, our property and the ship. It is exceedingly regrettable.”
He threatened to consider cooperating with other nations to prevent any future obstructions, but stopped short of actually taking any action.
Sea Shepherd for its part announced it was “delighted” the Japanese ran away and vowed it will continue attacking their ships until they stop their foreign ways.
As the only likely means of stopping Sea Shepherd’s attacks would involve a Japanese ship intercepting their vessel and arresting them for criminal activity on the high seas, it seems singularly unlikely that anything will be done.
Critics of the administration can’t help but notice a “regrettable” pattern developing in Japan’s international relations.
In the case of a Chinese fishing vessel ramming the Japanese coast guard, China suspending certain exports and kidnapping Japanese nationals, Russia announcing it will be basing a small invasion fleet in the disputed Kuriles and now Sea Shepherd hounding a Japanese ship from international waters, the response in each case has been to call the events “regrettable” and do absolutely nothing.
Under such circumstances even Japan’s crazy rightists might concede it wise to give up whaling altogether, if only to prevent further humiliation and thus invite even more efforts to wring concessions out of Japan’s unbelievably supine government.