Greenpeace’s claims to not support criminal direct action seem to be wearing thin with the news that they stole (“took away without permission”) a box containing 23 kilos of whale meat from a shipping company’s warehouse. Apparently, the meat was, along with 47 other boxes, earmarked for delivery to the homes of crew members of the “research” vessel Nisshin Maru, after their return to port for a break from their strenuous scientific endeavours in the Antarctic.
Greenpeace Japan’s excuse for their brazen theft was given by their lawyer as: “Greenpeace had no intention of securing unlawful gains, they only acted in order to secure evidence, thus we think an illegal act did not take place”. Interesting that Greenpeace should think themselves entitled to conduct action which would normally require a warrant of some sort.
The shipping company seems to be playing it safe for the time being by stating: “We wish to conduct a more detailed investigation of the facts surrounding the case”.
The government (actually the Fisheries people in charge of cetacean “research”) is confident; “It is an old custom for crew members to take home some meat as a souvenir, and it is confirmed by the government that there are no problems with this, and it is non-commercial, strictly regulated and applies only to small amounts”. It might be better for these seamen to refrain from consuming such large amounts of whale meat, lest they end up as mad as hatters, but there you have it.