The Sea Shepherd Steve Irwin is on it's way back for fuel. But that hasn't stopped the Japanese Coast Guard from tailing them.
We continue to be pursued by the Japanese vessel Fukuyoshi Maru No. 68,” said Captain Paul Watson. “This vessel has maintained a distance of 7 miles and has tailed the Steve Irwin since January 15th.”
According to media reports, the Japanese Coast Guard has admitted that there is an armed Japanese Coast Guard team in the Southern Oceans.
"Coast guards are there with a view to protect human lives and assets as they have suffered damage at the hands of activists," Japan Coast Guard spokesman Takashi Matsumori said on Tuesday, January 29th.
This is the first time since 1992 that the Japanese Coast Guard personnel have been sent to a non-Coast Guard vessel outside of Japanese territorial waters. The Coast Guard departed from Japan in December on a supply ship according to the Mainichi Shimbun.
Here is a link to the She Shepherd press release.