Japanese police say they have arrested a 25 year old anti-whaling activist from Germany has been arrested in the small western town of Taiji, renown for its annual dolphin slaughter. Nils Greskewitz, who investigators say has known connections with Sea Shepherd, a famous militant environmentalist group, was arrested for vandalizing a public statue in the town on Monday.
The young German man had been in Japan since Friday, and was participating in anti-whaling protests taking place in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. Greskewitz is said to have bent the harpoon part on the statue of a whaler in Whale Beach Park. The police reports say that he had been hanging from that part of the 3 meter (10 feet) high statue, and it didn’t support his weight. Greskewitz has said that it was not his intent to cause damage.
Taiji gained worldwide attention after the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary The Cove showed how dolphins are lured into enclosed groups and slaughtered every year. These events routinely draw protests and animal rights activists from around the world. Japan’s whaling industry has also been a regular target for Sea Shepherd and its leader, Paul Watson, who take sometimes violent action at sea against Japanese ships in order to disrupt the hunting practices.[via Radio Netherlands]