The Japan Coast Guard on Friday arrested a member of U.S.-based antiwhaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for trespassing in connection with his boarding of a whaling fleet vessel in the Antarctic Ocean last month.More fun will be had if Mr. Watson tries to enter Japan to testify on Mr. Bethune's behalf.
The Japan Coast Guard obtained an arrest warrant for Bethune on Thursday.
It is the first time the JCG has been involved in a case of ship trespassing in international waters, according to the agency.
Tatsuro Shinjo, deputy director general of the Third Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, said the coast guard decided to handle the arrest because Bethune does not reside in Japan and coast guard officials are to carry out the investigation.
Shinjo said that the captain of the Shonan Maru No. 2 did not make a citizens arrest of Bethune but held him under "protective custody." Earlier reports said Bethune ostensibly boarded the whaler to "arrest" its skipper after the ship hit his high-tech vessel the Ady Gil in the port bow, chopping it in two, in January. The boat sank shortly afterward.
Paul Watson, the head of Sea Shepherd, told Kyodo News he thought it was "very strange . . . the aggrieved captain is the one who is going to be arrested."
"Pete Bethune was prepared for this, and he said let's go back to Japan, let's throw everything out on the table and clear this up," he said, speaking from Hobart, Tasmania, where the group's boats are currently docked.
Let's see how strongly Watson believes in the cause...