TOKYO - February 14 -
Greenpeace activists took to the streets across the globe on Valentine’s Day to send a message of love to Japan from twenty-eight different countries, while at the same time demanding the government end high seas whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
In Tokyo, Greenpeace volunteers carried
a giant Valentine’s card, addressed to pro-whaling members of the International
Whaling Commission (IWC), currently meeting to discuss "normalising"
the Commission, which read: "Normalization Means Protection, Not
A fax was also sent to the Nisshin Maru – the factory
ship of the whaling fleet, which read:
“We Love Japan, but Whaling Breaks Our Hearts! 69 % of
your fellow Japanese do not support what you are doing in the Sanctuary and
there is virtually no market for what you are producing. The
"research" you have been ordered to carry out is not wanted by
scientists and the meat is not wanted by the Japanese people. On this Valentine's
Day, a day for spreading love, we ask once again that you leave the Southern
Ocean Whale Sanctuary and return to port.”
flowers, hearts, chocolates, kisses and romantic gondola trips were delivered
by Greenpeace activists to embassies and tourists in Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Chile, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, France, Germany, Fiji, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Paraguay, Portugal,
Russia, Sweden, Spain, Thailand, Uruguay and the USA.
“This is not just frivolous fun. We want to send a
clear message that we are not anti-Japanese, we simply oppose whaling,” said
Junichi Sato, whales campaign leader in Greenpeace Japan. “We know that 69% of
Japanese do not support what their government is doing in the Southern Ocean
and 95% never or rarely eat whale meat. Whaling does not belong in the 21st
Century and the only way forward for the IWC is to start working for the whales
and not the whalers.” Sato added.
Notes to Editor
The Greenpeace ship Esperanza is in the Southern
Ocean, tracking the whaling fleet. The expedition is the last leg of the
Defending Our Oceans campaign (1), to expose all threats to the oceans, which
began in November 2005 by sailing to the Southern Ocean, where activists
prevented 82 whales from being killed, and also forced out the companies
funding the hunt, by taking peaceful direct action.
Greenpeace is recruiting thousands of new campaigners who will be given the tools to become campaigners in their own right through a new website. http://whales.greenpeace.org
(1) For information on the rest of the expedition go to:http://oceans.greenpeace.org