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Japan criticizes Sea Shepherd''s harassment of whalers.

| TOKYO, Feb 3 (KUNA) -- The Japanese government Monday criticized an anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for its obstructive actions against the Japanese whaling fleet over the weekend.

"The Sea Shepherd's action was extremely dangerous and unforgivable," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference. "We asked the Dutch government to take effective measures to prevent a recurrence," the top government spokesman said.

The militant environmental group operates ships registered in the Netherlands for anti-whaling campaigns.

According to a statement by the Japanese Fisheries Agency, Sea Shepherd blocked the whaling ships in the Antarctic Ocean from Saturday evening to Sunday morning Japan time, with one of the Japanese ships receiving minor damage. No one was injured.

Tokyo stopped commercial whaling in line with a 1986 International Whaling Commission moratorium, but has hunted whales annually in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica since 1987 for what it calls scientific research purposes.

Anti-whaling nations, led by Australia and New Zealand, and environmental groups condemn the hunts, saying they are a cover for commercial whaling because whale meat is sold for consumption in Japan.

Clashes between the Sea Shepherd, which slams Tokyo's whaling activities as illegal, and the Japanese whaling fleets have been escalating in recent years.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 3, 2014
Words:226
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