Japan blames Sea Shepherd over interference in Antarctic whaling

The government on Monday criticized a conservation group that has obstructed Japanese vessels engaged in so-called research whaling in the Antarctic Ocean.

Tokyo has asked the Dutch government to take steps to prevent a recurrence, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference. The antiwhaling group, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, uses ships registered in the Netherlands, the top government spokesman said.

"It was a very dangerous act and should never be condoned," Suga said, referring to the obstruction.

Sea Shepherd lowered several small boats into the sea to block the navigation of the Japanese fleet from Saturday evening to Sunday morning Japan time, according to the country's Fisheries Agency. One of the Japanese vessels suffered damage to its stern.