Arrest warrant issued for Paul Watson
TOKYO — The Japanese Coast Guard has obtained an arrest warrant for the leader of the Sea Shepherd environmental group for its disruption of Japan's annual whale hunts, media reports said Friday.
The move would be the latest in an increasingly aggressive campaign against the conservationists by Tokyo, which accuses them of endangering lives during the Antarctic hunt. U.S.-based Sea Shepherd has long insisted that the Japanese fleet is conducting banned commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research.
The warrant is for Paul Watson, the Canadian founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, on suspicion of assault and obstruction of business, Kyodo News agency reported, citing investigative sources. It did not say which court issued the warrant.
Watson, who was believed to be in New York, said in a statement that he was being targeted by Tokyo because of the damage his anti-whaling campaigns have caused.
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