Tag Archives: japan

Sea Shepherd launches Operation Relentless

9 May

Cross Posted from Sea Shepherd

 

Off the back of Sea Shepherd’s most successful campaign to date, Operation Zero Tolerance that saved 932 whales, Sea Shepherd launches Operation Relentless. Like last season’s campaign, Operation Relentless will be managed and led by Sea Shepherd Australia with campaign leaders Bob Brown and Jeff Hansen.

It will be Sea Shepherd’s 10th Antarctic whale defence campaign defending at risk whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. During the past nine seasons, Sea Shepherd’s direct-action interventions have saved the lives of more than 4,500 whales and exposed illegal Japanese whaling to the world. With the help of Australians and people around the world, Operation Relentless is shaping up to be a monumental success for the whales.

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Leaks, Rats and Radioactivity: Fukushima’s Nuclear Cleanup Is Faltering

1 May

by Bryan Walsh, Cross Posted from Time:

JAPAN-DISASTER-ACCIDENT-NUCLEAR-ENERGY-IAEA

Honestly, if the consequences weren’t potentially so dire, the ongoing struggles to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northern Japan would be the stuff of comedy. In March, an extended blackout disabled power to a vital cooling system for days. The cause: a rat that had apparently been chewing on cables in a switchboard. As if that’s not enough, another dead rat was found in the plant’s electrical works just a few weeks ago, which led to another blackout, albeit of a less important system. The dead rats were just the latest screwups in a series of screwups by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the owner of the Fukushima plant, that goes back to the day of March 11, 2011, when an earthquake and the resulting tsunami touched off a nuclear disaster that isn’t actually finished yet. I’m not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were TEPCO’s CEO.

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Rat May Be Responsible for Outage at Fukushima Nuke Plant

26 Mar
A brown rat. Photo by Brian Robert Marshall

Did a brown rat take down that nuke plant? Photo by Brian Robert Marshall

A rat may have been to blame for a power cut that knocked out cooling systems at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, the operator said last week, in an episode that highlighted the jerry-rigged nature of the fix.

Equipment keeping used nuclear fuel at a safe temperature in four different pools was out for up to 39 hours from Monday, with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) admitting their recovery work was sometimes less than perfect.

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Sea Shepherd Anti-Whalers Now Labeled ‘Pirates’ by US Fed Court

27 Feb

The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker (R) colliding with the Japanese whaling fleet fuel tanker the San Laurel. (AFP Photo)

The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker (R) colliding with the Japanese whaling fleet fuel tanker the San Laurel. (AFP Photo)

Reposted from RT

A US federal court has branded the conservationist group Sea Shepherd as pirates, and ordered them to cease their operations at sea, opening the door for Japanese whalers to pursue legal action in the United States against the activists.

Chief judge Alex Kozinski wrote in an 18-page opinion that “you don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch” to be classified as pirates.

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Sea Shepherd Australia Stops Japanese Whalers Yet Again!

6 Feb

Activists Make January a “No Kill” Month

Cross post from Environment News Service

HOBART, Tasmania, Australia, February 4, 2013 (ENS) – The month of January, usually the prime whale catching month for the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, has come and gone without the death of a single whale, says Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia Director Jeff Hansen.

It is the international organization’s ninth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance. This season’s campaign is under the direction of Sea Shepherd Australia, now that founding president Paul Watson has handed authority to Hansen and former Australian Greens leader and senator Bob Brown.

Paul Watson

Authority was transferred in December in compliance with a U.S. court restraining order and after Watson’s escape last summer from Germany, where he was detained on bail for possible extradition to Costa Rica.

The Sea Shepherd fleet of four ships, one helicopter, drones, and more than 120 volunteer crew from around the world has to date succeeded in keeping the four-vessel Japanese fleet of “research” whalers separated on the run, making it impossible for them to catch whales, Hansen says.

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Riots erupt in China over disputed island’s gas reserves

17 Sep

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister at riot policemen in Shenzhen on Sunday.

Chinese protesters took to city streets for a second day on Sunday to denounce Japan in a row over disputed islands, prompting the Japanese prime minister to call on Beijing to ensure protection of his country’s people and property.

The Nikkei business newspaper said on Sunday that demonstrators had earlier attacked two Panasonic electronic parts plants in the eastern cities of Qingdao and Suzhou.

Toyota vehicle dealerships were also set on fire and many vehicles were damaged, it said, citing Toyota’s China unit.

In the biggest flare-up, police fired tear gas and used water cannon to repel thousands of protesters occupying a street in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

The protests erupted in Beijing and many other cities on Saturday, when demonstrators besieged the Japanese embassy, hurling rocks, eggs and bottles, and testing cordons of police.

Demonstrators have looted shops and attacked Japanese cars and restaurants in at least five Chinese cities. Protesters also broke into a dozen Japanese-run factories in the eastern city of Qingdao on Saturday, according to the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

[EF!J Editor’s note: While an absurd nationalism seemed undeniably present in these riots, it can also not be denied that there is a militant environmental movement growing in China, which we have also reported on throughout this year. We can only hope that people are taking the opportunity to prioritize attacking corporate and industrial targets.]

Bustin’ through the barricades against nukes in Japan

30 Jul

Protesters hold placards and shout slogans as they march to form a ‘human chain’ around Japan’s parliament in Tokyo, to demonstrate against nuclear power plants. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power plants outside Japan‘s parliament on Sunday.

The protesters, including pensioners, were pressed up against a wall of steel thrown around the parliament building. Some broke through the barriers and spilled onto the streets, forcing the police to bring in reinforcements and deploy armoured buses to buttress the main parliament gate.

Source

Another Radioactive Water Leak Reported at Fukushima Plant

6 Apr
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said as much as 12 tons of radioactive water leaked from a pipe at its crippled Fukushima nuclear station, the second such incident in 11 days at the same pipeline, raising further doubts about the stability of the plant.

Part of the water may have poured into the sea through a drainage ditch, Osamu Yokokura, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone. The company known as Tepco stopped the leak from a pipe connecting a desalination unit and a tank today, he said.

“There will be similar leaks until Tepco improves equipment,” said Kazuhiko Kudo, a research professor of nuclear engineering at Kyushu University, who visited the plant twice last year as a member of a panel under the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency. “The site had plastic pipes to transfer radioactive water, which Tepco officials said are durable and for industrial use, but it’s not something normally used at nuclear plants,” he said. “Tepco must replace it with metal equipment, such as steel.”

Tepco has about 100,000 tons of highly radioactive water accumulated in basements at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station nearly 13 months after the March 11 quake and tsunami caused meltdowns and the worst radiation leaks since Chernobyl. The tsunami knocked out all power at the station, causing cooling systems for reactors to fail. The utility was forced to set up makeshift pumps to get cooling water to the reactors, with most of it then draining into basements. Continue reading

Japanese whalers return to port

9 Mar

The Japanese fisheries agency has confirmed 266 minke whales were caught this season.

JAPAN’S whaling fleet has ended its annual Antarctic hunt after landing 30 per cent of its planned catch of more than 900 whales.

Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano yesterday blamed bad weather and “sabotage” by the Sea Shepherd environmental protest flotilla for the reduced catch.

Although the catch of 266 was almost 100 more whales than the whalers caught last year, the shortfall might add to the financial pressure on the so-called scientific whaling program.

The Australian government welcomed Japan’s decision to recall its fleet from the Southern Ocean, saying it condemned all commercial whaling, “including Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program”.

“Japan’s whaling activities are contrary to international law,” said Environment Minister Tony Burke, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and acting Foreign Minister Craig Emerson in a statement.

“That is why Australia commenced and will continue legal action in the International Court of Justice. Our efforts are aimed at ending Southern Ocean whaling for good.”

Mr Kano said the outcome of this year’s hunt would be reviewed but did not directly respond to questions about the program’s future. Many observers thought the program would be discontinued this season after last year’s earthquake, but the whalers were given fresh funds to return to the Antarctic late last year and insiders say they believe the hunt will continue in the future.

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson used the cessation of this year’s hunt to claim victory over the Japanese fleet. “If the Japanese whalers return, Sea Shepherd will return. We are committed to the defence of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” he said.

By Rick Wallace, Tokyo correspondent, The Australian

See full article as cross-posted from here

For more articles on this news story visit here and here

Whale Wars Victory – Activists to be Released

10 Jan
Three Australian Activists Released from Detention on a Japanese Whaler in Australian Waters

10 Jan, 2012 07:45 AM

An unscheduled meeting between Japan’s whalers and environmental activists on the high seas seems an unlikely backdrop to an outbreak of détente.

But Australia was quietly celebrating a minor victory for diplomacy on Tuesday after Japan agreed to release three anti-whaling activists who illegally boarded one of its whaling ships over the weekend. 

The trio, all Australian citizens, have been detained on the Shonan Maru 2, which is providing security to the fleet, after clambering aboard early Sunday morning to protest Japan’s annual hunts in the Antarctic. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986 but allows Japan to hunt a limited number of whales for “scientific research.” The fleet left port last month with plans to kill some 900 whales this season.

The incident threatened to cause tension between Australia and Japan, close trade and security partners. Soon after the men were detained it seemed likely that they would be kept aboard the Shonan Maru 2 and taken to Japan, where they faced a trial and possible imprisonment for trespassing.

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