Greenpeace plans protest when Japanese whaling ship docks in Australia
Updated: 2005-12-23 09:29
Greenpeace activists will try to stop a Japanese whaling boat from leaving
Australia after its planned arrival Saturday to evacuate a sick crewman, a
spokeswoman said Friday.
Greenpeace spokeswoman Carolin Wenzel said the environmental group would do
nothing to impede the removal of the sick sailor.
"What we are interested in is making sure the ship does not leave again," she
Wenzel said she expected the Japanese whale spotting boat Keiko Maru to
receive "a fairly large, colorful reception" from Greenpeace and other local
boats and yachts if it docks in Hobart, capital of Australia's southern island
state of Tasmania.
Australia's government is a vocal opponent of Japan's whaling program, but
Greenpeace accuses Canberra of failing in its diplomatic attempts to halt the
Sen. Bob Brown, leader of the opposition Greens Party, said Australia should
send a navy ship to the Antarctic waters to monitor the Japanese whaling fleet.
"Remember, this government has impounded scores of Indonesian fishing boats.
It's spent millions chasing pirate ships," Brown said. "But when it comes to
this piracy of whales in our waters, it seems to be sitting on its hands."
"One has to wonder if that isn't because the prime minister wants to get a
free trade agreement going with the Japanese prime minister in the coming 12
months," he added.
On Thursday, Prime Minister John Howard said he expressed his opposition to
whaling at a recent meeting with his Japanese counterpart Junichiro Koizumi.
"Although we spent the large part of our meeting discussing Iraq and areas
where the Japanese and Australian governments are in full agreement, I did not
lose the opportunity of telling him of my continued opposition to Japan's
position on whaling," Howard said.
Wenzel said Friday that it was possible the Japanese ship would alter its
plan to dock in Hobart due to the planned protests.