Japan Officially Labels Paul Watson a “Terrorist” for Saving Whales

When will this silly “terrorism” rhetoric end? I thought that once Bush left office he would take the with-us-or-with-the-terrorists mentality with him. Maybe that was naive. Apparently the Japanese government has taken yet another step towards labeling the conservationist Paul Watson a terrorist.

Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and captain of the anti-whaling vessel, the Steve Irwin. During a recent trip between Canada and the United States, Watson discovered that he is now officially on some kind of Japanese suspected-terrorist watch-list. While going through the regular paperwork of international air travel, he was told that there was some issue with his documents and was pulled aside by a member of the American homeland security office. There he was held long enough to miss his original flight, but Watson was lucky enough to catch the next flight out.

While being held, Watson discovered from the US agents that the Japanese government has sent an official communication to the American government that they suspect the anti-whaling activist of being a terrorist. The homeland security officer eventually let him go, but only after asking for an autograph for his son. Apparently the boy is a big fan of Whale Wars. Awesome.

From Paul’s online editorial column:

“But the truth had just been revealed and with a shudder down my spine I realized that I was now a member of a new species of terrorist, a gentler, kinder sort of terrorist.

I was not upset. In fact I was overjoyed to find out that I was not alone. Another international terrorist whose name strikes fear into the hearts of every Chinese communist bureaucrat was his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

This gentle, non-violent, wise and honorable man is now, according to the Chinese government, an international terrorist. And if the Dalai Lama can be defined as a terrorist then I’m proud to be a terrorist also.”

Seems like the power dynamic is always the same: if an activist points out the wrong-doing of some dominant power structure like a government or a major corporation, then they get labeled an antisocial terrorist. What garbage. The whole world is rooting for Sea Shepherd.


Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun6 years ago

Thanks so much

Rachel R.
Rachel R7 years ago

B.M. - I didn't say he was a bad guy. I'm pointing out that while he may be a hero for conservation, his actions may be terrorist in nature. Nor did I say I particularly care. I rather like whales. And trees too, of course.


B. M.
Bette M7 years ago

Rachael R.
I hope Paul Watson keeps right on stepping over under, around & above every so called maritime law there is to save the life of every whale in the seas!!!!!!

There are seven billion people on this earth........How many whales do you think there are in the seas?

Answer that.........How many???????

Plant & protect trees for life..........................

Rachel R.
Rachel R7 years ago

Um, is Paul Watson comparing himself to his Holiness the Dalai Lama? Is he using his writing and language skills to portray himself as a gentle, non-violent, wise and honorable man? Don't get me wrong, I'm not 'anti' Paul Watson, but let's consider one thing for a moment - if the Japanese were American, and Paul Watson were an Iraqi... would the American Government consider him to be a terrorist? Terrorism is the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature. Irrespective of who owns the boats, the men and women who are paid to work on them are civilians. Much of what Paul Watson does is considered to be illegal under Maritime Law. Retain rationalism in this. Paul Watson has done much for the cause of conservation, but antisocial terrorism and activism are not too distant cousins. It's a fine line to tread, and Mr Watson has indeed stepped over it occasionally.

Nat R.
Natalie R7 years ago

Paul is a real human being who cares and is trying to protect our world and humanity. He has been labelled a terrorist because he has been effective in stopping the illegal slaughter of whales and is costing the whaling industry tens of millions of dollars. It is not governments that produce change it is men like Paul and his team that make differences in this world. Paul Watson is not a terrorist. Paul Watson is a hero.

Brandon LaBeet
Brandon L7 years ago

Paul Watson offered the whalers assistance when they lost a man to the sea, he was then denied help and left them to search for their man, I've never heard of a terrorist offering help to his opposition under any circumstance.

Paola T.
Paola T.8 years ago

i see all animalist are terrorist for this low level sistem of things.
government is the terrorist for the animals.

Sarah Glenn
Sarah Glenn8 years ago

By using using the word "terrorist" in connection with Paul Watson and his efforts to protect the whales both minimizes the definition of the word and demeans the real victims of terrorism.

Japan's blatant disregard of the oceans' most precious resources sickens me. We could all have a major impact by supporting the Sea Shepherd and by boycotting all things Japanese. Yes a boycott would be difficult but not impossible. I boycott all things Chinese!

Tim P.
Tim P8 years ago

Only terrorist around is the Japanese whalers along w/ Bush & Cheney

ashley l.
ashley l8 years ago

They Clearly don't know the meaning of terrorist now do they!