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Sea Shepherd Challenges Pro-whaling Nations to Debate

November 26, 2010 ­­— Sea Shepherd Conservation Society challenges the Japanese government to an open debate on whaling during their upcoming closed-door pro-whaling strategy conference in Shimonoseki, Japan, on November 30. A total of 27 countries and regions in support of whaling, including Iceland and Norway, will attend the two-day meeting to discuss future negotiation policies on commercial whaling.

With only weeks away from the start of Japan’s illegal whaling season in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, this is Japan’s last chance to defend their so-called “research” whaling before the Sea Shepherd fleet sets sail for Antarctic waters to uphold international conservation laws. Japan claims that their whaling is for scientific research only, although it benefits from a government subsidy of over one billion yen a year.  Please note that this number does not include bribes to starving nations, buying their votes as ‘pro-whaling nations.’

Since this whaling is done in the name of science, and if it is not fraudulent ‘fig leaf’ pseudoscience, Japan's "Institute for Cetacean Research" should welcome the opportunity to present their research arguments and findings to the many millions of anti-whaling supporters who find Japan's "research" completely lacking in credibility and conscience.

Captain Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd commented on their proposal, “We are so confident that we will win this debate, that we are willing to come into the lion’s den and send in our least experienced staff member.  Someone would need to be very extremely ignorant to fail to beat even the most experienced pro-whaling debater at the conference, given how pointless, cruel, and unethical whaling is. If Japan doesn’t allow us the chance to debate, then they leave us no choice but to set sail and defend the lives of whales.”

We welcome any and all pro-whaling nations to make videos of this debate to share via YouTube or other methods; this would allow millions of people to view their side. Sea Shepherd promises that if Japan accepts their proposal, we will post their unedited videos on all of our websites to present every bit of their argument to our supporters—and the world.

Conducting these debates is a grave matter. If Japan will not accept Sea Shepherd's offer to debate, we will declare that the Institute for Cetacean Research and Japanese government leaders have completely destroyed their reputation in the name of tradition: Just as illegal whaling is claimed to be justified by tradition, not debating us is the modern equivalent of ritual suicide (seppuku). Ritual suicide is misnamed by many in the west as hara-kiri, but Sea Shepherd has too much respect for the cleansing power of this particular tradition to name it incorrectly.

For those who say it's barbaric and cruel to ask humans to commit suicide, we ask this question: Do you think seppuku is any different than feeding mercury to children and pregnant mothers, resulting in mercury and heavy metals concentration in their bodies as high as 2,000 percent above the maximum accepted levels as determined by the World Health Authority? What is it short of racial suicide in the name of tradition?

The world awaits Japan's acceptance of Sea Shepherd’s proposal to debate, or the names and date of seppuku.

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