January 13th, 2012
05:33 AM ET

Japan hands over whaling activists to Australia

Tokyo (CNN) - Japan on Friday handed over to Australian authorities three anti-whaling activists held aboard a Japanese vessel after illegally boarding the ship to protest Japan's annual whale hunt in Atlantic waters.

The three Australian men were transferred onto Ocean Protector, an Australian customs ship, a spokesman for the Japanese Fisheries Agency said, declining to be identified as is customary in Japan. The activists were released without charge.

The men had been questioned by Japan's Coast Guard after boarding the Shonan Maru #2, a patrol vessel supporting the whaling mission in Antarctic waters, on Sunday.

Australia engaged in diplomatic discussions with Japan to ensure the well-being and release of the three men. Australia opposes Japan's whale hunt, but the incident did not occur in Australian territorial waters, meaning that the country's law did not automatically apply to the case.

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Frachini¬©‚ĄĘ

    I am now more determined to eat whale steak.

    January 13, 2012 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    The ones that are endangered, or just plain old whale steak, the kind you find at whe Sea-Life R Us Market?

    January 13, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Frachini¬©‚ĄĘ

    @ banasy:
    I'd settle for killer-whale steak, but way, deep down in my innermost heart of hearts, I want to taste a big whale's flesh–you know, a whale like the one that swallowed Jonah in the Bible.
    Now, that's what I call a whale steak!
    All of the whales in the Bible seem endangered: have you sent your ti-
    thes and offerings to church today?

    January 13, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Yeah, right, as if I'm going to give my money to a church.
      Will I go to heaven if I do?
      Will that give me an in with the Lord?
      I give my monet to the people who need it, not an insti tution that doesn't....

      January 13, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Of course I meant money.
      The Monet is mine.

      January 13, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    Who are you two? All of a sudden youre preachin???

    January 13, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Mine was a joke.
      Do we have a problem that I'm not aware of?

      January 13, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    No problem, just confused me when not just one but both of you talk religion, which is outta the norm! Thought those trolls infaltrated your bodies while you slept!!!

    January 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |