In what must be a massive sigh of relief for Pete Bethune, the Tokyo District Court gave the anti-whaling activist a two-year jail sentence, suspended for five years.
In other words, as long as he doesn’t do anything illegal (involving Japan) during that time, he will not go to jail.
The news is a wonderful outcome to a long ordeal that began when Bethune illegally boarded a Japanese whaling vessel in February to serve a citizen’s arrest of its captain. A month earlier, that ship was involved in a collision with Bethune’s boat, the Ady Gil. It later sank — prompting the 45-year-old to make the daring nighttime stunt that resulted in his arrest.
Ahead of the verdict, Bethune was reportedly feeling “very nervous”.
As part of the sentencing, he will be deported immediately. According to 3News, that means the next available flight home to New Zealand — where his wife and two daughters will no doubt be anxiously awaiting his arrival. We wish them all a very happy reunion.