JAPAN: Greenpeace draws criticism

International NGO Greenpeace has not enjoyed the level of support in Japan that other groups such as WWF and Friends of the Earth have developed over the years.

One reason is that many Japanese individuals and organisations are wary of Greenpeace’s confrontational tactics. In December, the pressure group was slammed by the Minster of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries of Japan who called the group “inhumane”. He referred to an incident in which Greenpeace activists had prevented the staff of a Japanese whaling ship from leaving their ship, near Australia.

Reportedly, a crew member committed suicide following the incident, which also involved a fire on the whaling ship. Greenpeace Japan has downsized from around 20 staff last year to a current staffing level of around 5.

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