Australia protests to Japan about whaling ship

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Associated Press

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 11:04 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has protested to Japan that a ship supporting its whaling fleet entered Australian waters in pursuit of anti-whaling activists.

Environment Minister Tony Burke says his government confirmed Thursday that the ship was in Australia's exclusive economic zone near Macquarie Island. Burke said in a statement Australia "strongly objects" to whaling vessels in its waters. Australia's embassy in Tokyo protested to Japan's government over the incursion.

The ship is providing security to whaling vessels conducting Japan's annual hunt. Activists say it tailed the anti-whaling ship Bob Barker over two days in Australian waters.

Whaling organization Institute of Cetacean Research said Friday the activists used dangerous tactics that made the Japanese defy Australia's wishes.

Confrontations between Japan's whaling fleet and activists who oppose the hunts have been violent in the past.

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