“Obviously trade relations between Japan and New Zealand take priority over the rights of a New Zealand citizen.” Said Captain Paul Watson. “New Zealand has done nothing in response to the deliberate sinking of a New Zealand registered vessel. Captain Bethune had no other option than to press for his rights as a citizen knowing that his government could not be counted on to represent his interests.”

Prime Minister John Key made a statement while condemning the Sea Shepherd action. He said. "I believe there is a way through this over time. That will require some goodwill on both sides and I just don't know if that's possible but that's got to be the long term solution."

Keys says he is worried the incident will mar otherwise good diplomatic and trade relations with Japan.

Captain Watson responded to Key's statement by saying, “The whales don’t have the luxury of time and when has time been a factor in the enforcement of the law. These whalers are poachers and you don’t deal with criminals with long-term solutions. This is like telling bank robbers that we will negotiate with them until they agree to stop robbing banks. Key’s needs to stop whoring his country out to the Japanese and he needs to understand that a Japanese poacher deliberately rammed and destroyed a New Zealand vessel and now is holding a New Zealand citizen hostage onboard a Japanese whale poaching ship.”