日本官員為收受鯨肉賄賂致歉 綠色和平要求調查 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

日本官員為收受鯨肉賄賂致歉 綠色和平要求調查

建立於 2011/02/01
摘譯自2011年1月28日ENS日本東京報導,林可麗編譯,莫聞審校

日本在南大洋捕鯨船捕殺的2頭侏儒小鬚鯨。圖片來自:綠色和平。日本水產廳被迫為其五位官員收受日本船舶株式會社(Kyodo Senpaku)捕鯨公司總值達3000美元鯨魚肉之收賄行為致歉。日本船舶為營利公司,在每年一度的「研究捕鯨」期間,假借私人非營利機構「日本鯨類研究院」(ICR)的名義,從事鯨魚肉「樣本」收集、加工並量販等活動。

已有兩名高階官員因部屬的不當行為受警告處分,包括水產廳次長兼國際捕鯨委員會談判代表山下潤。 

ENS記者在水產廳發送的新聞稿中看到這份致歉聲明及警告書,只是,這份新聞稿只傳給特定的日本記者,並未公開發佈或上傳至水產廳官網。

這是日本綠色和平成員佐藤潤一(Junichi Sato)與鈴木徹(Toru Suzuki)於2008年指控官員收賄醜聞以來,日本水產廳首度承認確有其事並公開道歉。

日本綠色和平28日呼籲日本檢察官重啟調查,以查明官方捕鯨計畫中存在的不法侵吞鯨魚肉事件──他們指控,鯨肉是從日本納稅人手中偷走的,因為捕鯨船是用納稅錢買的。

佐藤潤一是日本綠色和平的執行長,他表示,「鈴木徹跟我在2008年揭露了捕鯨業大規模的非法侵占鯨肉醜聞,我們花了超過兩年的時間在法庭上為自己辯護,捍衛我們說出真相的權利。日本水產廳承認像山下這些高階官員該為部屬收受昂貴鯨肉禮物負責,證明了系統化及深度腐敗的存在。」

佐藤與鈴木先前攔截到一箱非法侵占的鯨肉,用來揭露捕鯨業的腐敗,但卻在2010年9月獲判偷竊與非法侵入的罪名。目前,他們正為了爭取一年緩刑而上訴。

佐藤28日表示,這些官員承認收受的鯨肉「價值約為鈴木跟我被控拿取的鯨肉的6倍。」

此案源於鯨業內部有爆料者指控,由日本納稅人出資成立的捕鯨船隊,卻利用船員從事集體侵占鯨魚肉的行為,於是綠色和平開始在2008年1月展開調查。

告密者之前參與捕鯨計畫,也因為他提供的資訊,讓佐藤跟鈴木得以攔截到一批箱子,這些箱子裡裝有捕獲的鯨魚肉,過去一直被秘密運到船員家中後再轉售牟利。

佐藤跟鈴木表示,根據他們的調查,有23位以上船員,將93箱標有「私人行李」的鯨肉送到至少30個地點。

佐藤在2008年5月遞送一箱這些鯨肉到東京地檢署,展開非法侵占的訴訟。但2008年6月20日,檢察官中止非法侵占的調查案,轉而逮捕了佐藤與鈴木。他們被扣留長達26天之久,其中有23天是在沒有任何罪名的情況下遭扣押。

2010年9月6日,佐藤與鈴木以偷竊與非法入侵遭判1年刑期,緩刑3年。

上週,日本船舶株式會社社長兼日本捕鯨協會會長山村一雄(Kazuo Yamamura)公開承認,鯨肉的銷售量在2010年會計年度的前半年下降了30%,迫使該協會縮減捕鯨規模。總部位於下關的日文報紙山口新聞(Minato Shinbun)報導了他的聲明,而下關也是捕鯨船的主要停泊港口。

日本船舶株式會社、捕鯨協會與鯨類研究院1月20日在下關舉行聯合記者會,詳細說明捕鯨業所面臨的問題。日本鯨類研究機構宣佈已經將執行主任的人數裁減至1人。現執行主任藤瀬喜弘(Yoshihiro Fujise)在下關告訴記者,以銷售「研究副產品」鯨肉的資金,作為研究經費來源的財務模式已經行不通了。

日本的捕鯨船現在在南大洋鯨魚禁捕區(Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary)以自訂的935條侏儒小鬚鯨捕捉量進行捕鯨行動,這樣的限額是日本政府認為為了合法研究所必須維持的限額,並且也受到國際捕鯨協會的認可。

保育人士以及鯨魚保育國家則批評,為了研究而獵殺鯨魚是不必要的,並且提倡非致命性的研究方法。

今年捕鯨船的規模比往年來得小,並且受到海洋牧者保育協會(Sea Shepherd Conservation Society)的追逐,海洋牧者保育協會持續干擾這些捕鯨船的行動,以防止他們抓到鯨魚。

佐藤表示,「在南大洋鯨魚禁捕區的捕鯨船規模正在下降,捕殺目標數量也在減少中,而日本尚有5,300噸以上冷凍鯨肉庫存量,再加上政府正式承認我們所揭露的腐敗情形的確存在;種種情況顯示,捕鯨業存在的日子已經屈指可數了。現在既然侵占公款的事情已無可否認,政府有必要重啟調查我們所揭露的醜聞。」

Japanese Officials Apologize for Taking Whale Meat Gifts, Greenpeace Demands Probe
TOKYO, Japan, January 28, 2011 (ENS)

The Fisheries Agency of Japan has been forced to apologize for the misconduct of five officials who accepted gifts of whale meat totaling about US$3,000 from Kyodo Senpaku. This for-profit company conducts the collection, processing and wholesale selling of whale specimens and meat from Japan's annual "research" whale hunt, which is conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research, a privately-owned, non-profit institution.

Two key officials, including the FAJ's second in command and International Whaling Commission negotiator, Jun Yamashita, were handed warnings, as they were ultimately responsible for the actions of their staff.

The apology and warnings were contained in a press release seen by ENS. The release was sent to select Tokyo journalists, but not otherwise published or uploaded to the FAJ website.

The agency's apology and admission of official impropriety is the first time the Japanese authorities have acknowledged the corruption alleged in 2008 by Greenpeace Japan's Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki.

Today, the Greenpeacers called on Japanese prosecutors to reopen the official investigation into embezzlement within Japan's whaling program. They allege the whale meat was stolen from the Japanese taxpayers, who fund the whaling fleet.

"Toru Suzuki and I exposed a broad-scale whale meat embezzlement scandal inside Japan's whaling industry in 2008, and we spent over two years in court defending ourselves for speaking out," said Sato, Greenpeace Japan executive director. "The FAJ's admission that high-level officials such as Yamashita were responsible for its officers accepting expensive whale meat gifts is yet more proof of this systemic and deep-rooted corruption."

Sato and Suzuki are appealing a one year suspended sentence, which was imposed in September 2010 after they were found guilty of theft and trespass for intercepting a box of embezzled whale meat and using it to expose corruption in the whaling industry.

Sato said today that the meat the officials admitted accepting "was worth roughly six times what Toru and I were accused of taking."

In January 2008, Greenpeace began investigating insider allegations that organized whale meat embezzlement was being conducted by crew members from Japan's whaling fleet, which is funded by Japanese taxpayers.

The informer was previously involved in the whaling program, and as a result of his information, Sato and Suzuki found that cardboard boxes containing whale meat were being secretly shipped to the homes of whaling fleet crew members and then sold for personal profit.

Sato and Suzuki say their investigation established that more than 23 crew members sent at least 93 boxes of whale meat labeled "personal baggage" to at least 30 destinations.

Sato delivered a box of this whale meat to the Tokyo Prosecutors' Office in May 2008, and filed a report of embezzlement. On June 20, 2008 the prosecutors dropped the embezzlement investigation and arrested both men. They were then held for 26 days, 23 days without charge.

On September 6, 2010, Sato and Suzuki were convicted of theft and trespass and sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years.

Last week, Kazuo Yamamura, the CEO of Kyodo Senpaku and head of the Japan Whaling Association, admitted that whale meat sales dropped 30 percent in the first half of the 2010 fiscal year, forcing the association to downscale its activities. His statement was reported by the "Minato Shinbun," a Japanese language newspaper headquartered in Shimonoseki, home port of the whaling fleet.

A press conference in Shimonoseki on January 20 held by by Kyodo Senpaku, the Japan Whaling Association, and the Institute of Cetacean Research, detailed this and other problems facing the whaling industry.

The ICR announced that it has reduced the number of its executive directors to one. The current ICR Executive Director Yoshihiro Fujise told reporters in Shimonoseki that the financial model of covering the research costs by selling whale meat as a "byproduct" of the research no longer worked.

The Japanese whaling fleet is now in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary hunting whales under a self-imposed quota of 935 minke whales for what the Japanese government maintains is necessary and legal research sanctioned by the International Whaling Commission.

Conservationists and whale conservation countries contend that there is no need to kill whales for research and advocate for non-lethal research methods.

The whaling fleet is smaller this year than in previous years and is being hounded by ships from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which are interfering with the movements of the whalers to keep them from catching whales.

"With a smaller fleet in the Southern Ocean hunting a reduced target of whales, a growing 5,300 tonne stockpile of meat in frozen storage, and now an official admission that the corruption we exposed exists, it is clear that the whaling industry's days are numbered," said Sato. "As the embezzlement of public money is now undeniable, the official investigation into the scandal we exposed must be reopened."

 

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導