"The marine conservation group Sea Shepherd has scored a propaganda victory over Japan after it emerged it had bought its newest anti-whaling vessel from the Japanese government, apparently without its knowledge."
"The $2m dollar vessel, which previously belonged to the country's meteorological agency, was bought from unsuspecting Japanese authorities by a US company, re-registered in the Pacific island of Tuvalu as the New Atlantis, and delivered to Australia by a Japanese crew.
The ship, which was unveiled on Tuesday in Hobart, was reflagged to Australia and named after Sam Simon, the founding producer of The Simpsons TV series and a prominent animal rights campaigner.
It is the newest addition to a fleet of four Sea Shepherd vessels that is expected to pursue Japan's whalers soon after they leave for the Antarctic later this month."
Justin McCurry reports for the Guardian December 11, 2012.