Illegal Actions of the Cove Guardians 2012/13

The following is only a few cases that were reported - it's the tip of the iceberg.
  • On 8th October 2012, a cove guardian Nils Greskewitz was arrested "on suspicion of damaging a whaler statue in a local park". (Mainichi Shinbun, 2012/10/9) [Violating the Penal Code (Damage of Property)] ... Found guilty, fined 100,000 yen and paid 357,000 yen for repairs.
  • On 28th November 2012, a cove guardian Thomas Gainard was detained at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, denied entry and deported 48 hours later. The reason not fully known yet, but it appears the Ministry of Justice denied his entry based on his past illegal activities in Taiji and Japan.
  • On 18th January 2013, Scott West (CG Coordinator) admitted in a statement that veteran Cove Guardians are being denied entry into Japan. According to other sources, the persons denied entry are Nikki Botha and Rosie Kunneke, both of them were engaged in illegal activities and issued warnings. 
  • On 24th January 2013, Martyn Stuart (independent activist, previously CG during 2010/11 season) uploaded a video of fishermen on YouTube titled "Short dick men in Taiji", which was immediatedly deleted by YouTube for its sexual nature. (Martyn is obsessed with penis size... you know why ;-))
  • In this season, Cove Guardians are focusing more on harrassing a few dolphin meat processors.

Illegal Actions of the Cove Guardians 2011/12

Paul Watson, the president of the Sea Shepherd, announced that the Cove Guardians are under strict order not to break the law in Japan. However, they have repeatedly broken the law in Japan as neither Paul Watson nor Cove Guardians have any knowledge of the law in Japan. How can they claim that they are abide by the law, if they don't know or respect the law in Japan? This year one of the Cove Guardians was arrested for assault so far, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. In this article we will list the illegal actions of the Cove Guardians which is known to us so far.
  • “Since September 1st when the season started, some 80 activists visited Taiji. 25 warnings were issued as they trespass to no-entry area & verbally harassed the fishermen etc.” (Sankei Newspaper, 2012/1/22) [Violating the Minor Offences Act & Wakayama Anti-Nuisance Ordinance]
  • Cove Guardians take photographs of Taiji locals & fishermen and publish them without their consent on their official website & personal blogs, adding discriminatory insults. [Violating the Penal Code (defamation of character) & the Civil Code (Torts)]
  • Scott West, the current leader of the Cove Guardians, always carries a long pole and others carry a pirate’s flag representing the Sea Shepherd. This violates the Paragraph (2) of Article 2 of the Wakayama Anti-Nuisance Ordinance, which states “No one is allowed to carry objects that could be used to harm others, such as a knife, metal pole, and wooden sword, in the public places or transports without justifiable reason.” [Violating the Minor Offences Act & Wakayama Anti-Nuisance Ordinance]
  • On September 14th, a threatening letter, which could be originated from anti-whaling groups, reached Taiji Fishery Union. The origin of post was Hong Kong, and “in the envelope there were two A4 sheets which was written “KILL” in both Japanese and English along with pictures possibly taken from the Internet. The neck of the Fishery Union officials in the pictures was cut with sharp-edged tool.” (Sankei Newspaper, 2011/9/17) [Violating the Penal Code (Intimidation)]
  • On November 8th, the Cove Guardians entered the restricted area in Taiji fishing port and harassed a fisherman at work. They tried to appear as if they were “assaulted”, and published the video footage (They also tried to submit report of damage but it appears not officially reported. They claim they refused to sign the report because it was compiled in Japanese... What else would you expect?). [Violating the Minor Offences Act (Trespassing)]
  • On December 16th, the Dutch Cove Guardian, Erwin Vermeulen (42), allegedly trespassed & assaulted a guard by pushing in his chest, while trying to monitor the transport of Risso’s dolphin. Vermeulen was arrested in flagrante delicto by the police, but he denies the charge and the criminal trial is being held. [Violating the Penal Code (Assault)]
  • On February 8th, it was revealed that the hand-held radios used by the Cove Guardians are not certified to be used in Japan, hence illegal devices. The Cove Guardians were warned not to use this illegal device in Japan. [Violating the Radio Act]
Also, the following offences were reported last season (2010/11).
  • Making a fire, moving stones to make the figure of dolphins, and taking stones away from Hatajiri Bay, which is prohibited by the Natural Parks Act.
  • Taking pictures by physically putting camera over the private property at the Dolphin Resort Hotel. This was the violation of the Civil Code (Torts).
For Reference (The following applies regardless of your nationality)
"CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in another country, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In Japan, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport or Japanese alien registration card to show your identity and visa status. Driving under the influence could also land you immediately in jail. If you violate Japanese law, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, imprisoned, or deported. If you are arrested in Japan, even for a minor offense, you may be held in detention without bail for several months or more during the investigation and legal proceedings. A list of English-speaking lawyers located throughout Japan is available on our website. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods or purchase child pornography. While you are overseas, U.S. laws don’t apply. If you do something illegal in your host country, you are subject to the laws of the country even though you are a U.S. citizen. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go." (US Department of State


  •  「イルカ漁が解禁された9月1日以降、約80人の活動家らが訪れて、立ち入り禁止区域に侵入したり、漁師に暴言を吐いたりするなどの妨害行為を行い、これまで約25件の指導警告を行ったという。」(産経新聞、2012年1月22日)軽犯罪法違反和歌山県迷惑防止条例違反
  • コーヴ・ガーディアンは、公式サイトや個人のブログ等で、太地町民や漁師らの写真を無断で掲載し、また差別的・侮蔑的なコメントを付けている。刑法違反・名誉棄損罪民法・不法行為
  • 現CGリーダーのスコットは長い棒を常に携帯し、またシーシェパードの海賊旗を掲げて歩いているが、これは「何人も、公共の場所又は公共の乗物において、正当な理由がないのに、刃物、鉄棒、木刀その他人の身体に危害を加えるのに使用されるような物を、公衆に対し不安を覚えさせるような方法で携帯してはならない」ことを定めた和歌山県迷惑防止条例第二条第二項に違反。和歌山県迷惑防止条例違反
  • 2011年9月14日、太地町漁協に反捕鯨団体からと見られる脅迫状が届く。消印は香港で、「封書の中にはA4判の紙が2枚あり、日本語と英語で「殺す」と書かれ、インターネットなどの画面を撮影したとみられる写真も同封。写っている漁協職員の首の部分が鋭利な刃物で切られていた。」(産経新聞、2011年9月17日)刑法違反・脅迫罪
  • 2011年11月8日、もともと立ち入りが制限されている漁港内の繋留場所に侵入し、作業中の漁師を妨害。さらに自分たちが暴行を受けたかのような印象操作のために動画を公開した(暴行を受けたとして被害届を出そうとしたが受理されなかった模様)。軽犯罪法違反・不法侵入
  • 2011年12月16日、ハナゴンドウ移送中に、移送の様子を撮影しようとしたアーウィン・フェルミューレン(オランダ人、42歳)が立ち入り禁止区域に侵入、その際制止しようとした警備員の胸を突くなどの暴行を行った。フェルミューレンは現場にいた警察官により現行犯逮捕されたが、容疑の否認を続け裁判が行われている。刑法違反・暴行罪
  • 2012年2月8日、コーヴ・ガーディアンが使用していた無線機が日本での使用許可のない違法機器であることが判明し、日本国内で使用しないよう警告。電波法違反
  • 国立公園法で守られている畠尻湾での焚火、石を勝手に動かしイルカの像などを作る行為、無断で石を持ち帰る行為。自然公園法違反
  • 私有地であるドルフィン・リゾートの盗撮。民法・不法行為