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Wednesday, 7th July 2010
In General Japan News,

Anti-whaling protestor given suspended term

An anti-whaling protestor arrested in Japan after boarding a vessel in an attempt to make a citizen's arrest on its captain has been given a suspended two-year sentence.

Peter Bethune, who is from New Zealand, is a member of US group the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society andwas also charged with assault after being accused of throwing rotten butter in the face of a whaling vessel crew member when he boarded the ship back in February, causing a chemical burn.

Prosecutors had been seeking a jail term of two years but it was suspended as Bethune has said sorry for his behaviour and does not have any previous convictions in Japan.

According to a report by AFP, the court was attended by many protestors calling for the death penalty and saying that Bethune needed "real" punishment.

The Japanese whaling hunt often draws criticism from other nations and the practice is outlawed in many places, but the country's government continue to claim it is carried out for scientific reasons.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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