Japanese Whaling Fleet Returns Home in Disgrace

The Japanese whalers need a Yukio Mishima to capture the dishonor and disgrace they bring back to Japan.

"For indeed the Japanese whalers have fallen from grace with the sea." [The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima]

The Japanese whaling fleet limped into Tokyo harbor this week after a slow return in their crippled factory ship Nisshin Maru. Three remaining ships in the fleet are expected to return to port within a few days.

The disastrous Japanese whaling voyage of 2006-2007 is now officially over.

The Japanese killed 508 whales, 452 short of their target. This is the first time in 20 years that the Japanese fleet has had to abort its whaling operations. They return with the loss of one crewmember who died in the fire and with millions of dollars in damages to the Nisshin Maru. Much of the whale meat onboard was damaged by the fire and by chemicals used to fight the fire.

Unfortunately, but not unpredictably, they have vowed to repair the damages and to return to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in December 2007 to once again illegally kill whales. They will also be targeting the endangered humpbacks and fins in addition to the piked whales they have been slaughtering for the last two decades.

The Japanese fleet was not taking any chances when they returned. Ten military patrol boats escorted the Nisshin Maru to the wharf.

Japanese officials will begin to investigate the cause of the fire that raged through the factory decks of the huge processing vessel.

The Centre for Cetacean Research, the front agency for the Japanese government-owned whaling fleet, will hold a media conference in a week to inform the Japanese public about the fire and the aborted whaling operations.

Meanwhile, the conditions on the ship are cloaked in secrecy with journalists barred from the Tokyo wharf.

The Japanese whalers are expected to condemn the harassment actions by the crews of the Sea Shepherd ships Robert Hunter and Farley Mowat in February north of the Balleny Islands. The Sea Shepherd ships were able to disrupt the killing operations forcing the Japanese fleet to stop whaling activities and to flee.

Although the Sea Shepherd ships were hundreds of miles away when the fire broke out on the Nisshin Maru, the Japanese are expected to make insinuations that Sea Shepherd was responsible.

One spokesperson for the fleet has already stated that although there is "no evidence that Sea Shepherd was involved, there is no evidence that they were not."

In Australia, an Australian Federal police forensics investigations will soon release the results of their inquiry into allegations by the Japanese that the Sea Shepherd ship Robert Hunter had rammed the Japanese whaler Keiko Maru.

"I am confident that the results will demonstrate that it was the Keiko Maru that rammed the Robert Hunter," said Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson. "When we ram a whaling ship, we are damned proud to have done so and we would have said so if we did. The fact is that we did not and the evidence will back our position on that."

As the Japanese prepare to repair the Nisshin Maru to return to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in December, Sea Shepherd is repairing the Robert Hunter and making plans to return to the Sanctuary also to protect the defenseless whales from the illegal operations of the Japanese whaling fleet.

"The Nisshin Maru is the ‘death star' to the world's whales," said Captain Watson, "We will never rest until we end the obscene career of this floating vessel from hell that inflicts so much misery, cruelty, and death upon endangered whales. The Japanese whalers are criminals and mad killers of intelligent sentient highly sociable beings. Their so-called lethal research upon these wondrous mammals shows that they have not changed much since the days when they tortured and abused Australian and American prisoners of war for medical research."

The Japanese whaling industry will now unload the tainted whale meat and will attempt to market it to an unsuspecting Japanese public who will most likely remain ignorant of the chemical contamination of the whale meat.