The Japan Coast Guard has obtained an arrest warrant for the head of the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for allegedly ordering members of the group to obstruct operations by Japan's whaling fleet.
The Japan Coast Guard has questioned the Master of the MS Shonan Maru 2 in regard to the collision between his vessel and the SS-PG vessel Ady Gil. This occurred when that vessel returned to Japan with the operator of the Ady Gil, whose former name was Earthrace, aboard in detention. As has been widely reported the operator, a New Zealand citizen named Bethune, boarded the MS Shonan Maru 2 at sea to confront her Master. He was detained under International Maritime Law and Japanese Maritime Law for illegally boarding a vessel underway on the High Seas, an act of piracy. If found guilty at his forthcoming trial he faces 15 years in a Japanese prison.
It is not clear if the Nations involved which include, in addition to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and possibly France whose TAAF Prefect issued the MS Steve Irwin a Permit to operate in Antarctica, will enforce this warrant. Canada is also interested in this same person, Paul Watson is Canadian born, for violation of its Maritime Laws and may cooperate with Japan in enforcing this warrant.