Japanese PM’s Website Targeted in Anonymous Takedown Protesting Whaling

A twitter account of an activist hacker purporting to be a part of the hacktivist collective Anonymous has taken claim for the shutdown of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo AbeShinzo Abe’s personal website.

In a daily briefing on Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga confirmed in a daily briefing that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s personal website was somewhat restored with limited access, after a targeted takedown.

As revealed by Sputnik News, Suga said:

Access to Abe’s personal website is indeed limited. We do not have information on whether the attack was actually committed by the Anonymous group of hackers.

There has been no specification from Anonymous.

In a tweet, the hacktivist who claims to be “against all animal abuse,” took claim for the Prime Minister’s personal website being taken down:

The takedown, the activist hacker claims was in retaliation to Japan’s whaling operation that continues to hunt whales in open defiance of a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling mandated by the International Whaling Commission. Japan claims to conduct its whaling operation for purposes of research, a permissible reason under the moratorium.

The move drew criticism from the rest of the world, including Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt who said:

We do not accept in any way, shape or form the concept of killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research.’

There is no need to kill whales in the name of research. Non-lethal research techniques are the most effective and efficient method of studying all cetaceans.

Japan’s whaling operation resumed on December 1 despite the UN International Court of Justice ruling in March 2014 to bring an end to the country’s whaling research program. The Japanese Fisheries Agency continues to whale to this day, taking advantage of the ‘research’ loophole for decades.

Writing for The Japan Times in an opinion piece, Jeff Kingston, a Tokyo-based historian notes Japan’s decision to resume whaling in the Antarctic to be a “blunder” in several fronts.

Whaling advocates in the Japanese government may think they are justified on cultural and culinary grounds, but they are harpooning “Brand Japan.”

It’s a diplomatic scarlet letter that negatively influences public opinion in Europe, North America and Australia over a program that uses taxpayer money to kill something that hardly anyone craves — all for the sake of a national identity that few embrace.

Although Abe’s website was taken down with connectivity problems persevering till Thursday, the website is now active, albeit with limited functionality.

Featured image of a Minke whale, frequently hunted by Japan’s whaling fleet & of Shinzo Abe from Shutterstock.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.