Thursday, February 07, 2008

Young activist takes anti-whaling message to Tokyo, by Lauren Williams - The Daily Telegraph - 7th Feb 2008

TEENAGE anti-whaling campaigner Skye Bortoli will become the face of Australian anger at Japan's slaughter in the southern ocean when she takes The Daily Telegraph/Today show anti-whaling petition to Tokyo.

For the first time since the moratorium on commercial whaling took effect in 1982, ferocious public debate has forced the whaling issue into the public consciousness in Japan.

More than 93,000 people have signed our petition calling for an end to the senseless and provocative whaling.

Now it's time for their voices to be heard.

Soon The Daily Telegraph and the Today show will travel to Tokyo - taking Australia's message to the Democratic Party of Japan.

The party is in opposition in Japan but experts believe they have a strong chance of gaining power in elections this year and are more open to stopping the hunt than the country's ruling Liberal Democratic party.

Skye, 15, will hand deliver the petition, with a message that cannot be ignored.

The fresh face of Australian opposition to whaling knows the strength of people power, having become the youngest representative at the International Whaling Commission convention in 2005.

Yesterday, Skye said it was time the Japanese people woke up to their Government's lies.

"It's time we told Japan what's really going on," she said yesterday.

"We're not just presenting the petition, we are presenting the information that the Japanese people need to hear.

"We are presenting them with a decision. To go on listening to what their Government is saying, or to face a reality that whaling is unacceptable.

"We are stepping in and saying Australians are sick and tired of this. By going personally, we will make our presence felt. This is a message they can't ignore".

Only last week, the head of Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research, Minoru Morimoto, vowed to continue with his country's hugely unpopular killing program, under the guise of scientific research.

"We are confident of achieving the program's stated objectives for this season," he said.

But barely attempting to disguise the true nature of the so-called research, Mr Morimoto continued to insist the "lethal research" was the only way to validate commercial whaling.

"Whale stocks in the world today are abundant and commercial whaling can be managed on a sustainable basis," Mr Morimoto said.

The past two months have seen whaling catapulted on to the world stage as never before.

After announcing it would also kill humpbacks for "research" this summer, the Japanese were forced on December 23 to backdown, saying they would not cull them.

The backdown came after a concerted campaign against the Humpback hunt by The Daily Telegraph and the Today show.

Media Man Australia

Skye Bortoli


Environmentalists and the environment