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Friday, 12 March 2010

Whaling Business Jolted by Enemy Within

AFTER years of fruitless efforts to penetrate the facade of Japan's scientific whaling, Greenpeace in January 2008 stumbled across a rare opportunity: a whistleblower.

An investigation by Greenpeace Japan's Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, based on the whistleblower's tip-offs, produced sensational allegations of corruption, waste and official misbehaviour in the whaling program.

Japanese YenJapanese taxpayers keep scientific whaling afloat: last year, (Japanese Yen) ¥5.1 billion (about USD $60 million) of the Institute of Cetacean Research's ¥13.9 trillion operating expenses were met by interest-free public loans, ¥538m came as direct subsidy and another ¥404m as public research fees.

The rest came from selling the meat of the whales killed by the fleet, the proceeds of a publicly funded activity. The public was being cheated, Greenpeace argued.

Sato and Suzuki, however, ended up in the dock.