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Japan wants whaling activists arrested

TOKYO, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Japanese officials have asked Interpol to issue a red arrest notice for three environmental activists they describe as eco-terrorists.

The three, one British and the others U.S. citizens, were members of Sea Shepherd, an anti-whaling group, and were on a Sea Shepherd vessel shadowing the Japanese whaling fleet last year, The Telegraph reports. Japanese officials say that the three damaged the propeller of the Kaiko Maru and threw a smoke bomb on the deck.

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Interpol, instead of issuing a red notice allowing the three to be arrested and extradited to Japan, has issued a blue notice that involves further investigation.

"There is no doubt that this is politically motivated," said Paul Watson, director of Sea Shepherd. "If the Japanese police succeed in arresting any of these three men we will use the courts as a forum to focus international attention on Japan's continued illegal whaling activities."

Japan calls Sea Shepherd, which is based in the United States, a "terrorist organization."

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