Anonymous, the international website hacking group has allegedly, hacked three Japanese websites today, in response to Tokyo recommencing whale hunting as of 1 December 2015.
The Japanese Tax Agency website was deemed unusable this morning during a peak period when many users are completing their annual tax returns.
Reports also suggest that the Japanese External Trade Organization’s website was down for a period of time for some users. There were also official reports that the Japanese Securities Finance company’s website was not working.
Anonymous has turned its attention to protesting the Japanese policy of whaling and dolphin hunting since Japan broke the international convention using loopholes. The group recently arranged a campaign to protest against the revision of whaling policies and a local dolphin hunt taking place in the town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, in western Japan.
An anonymous Twitter user claiming to be a member of Anonymous said they are responsible for the website crashes, according to the media website, Bloomberg. The user, who refused to reveal their identify, threatened more attacks to protest whale and dolphin hunts, saying on Twitter they were targeting the Japanese government and specifically wanted to bring them down financially because money is what they really care about.
The Twitter user also said they were responsible for cyber attacks on a number of other Japanese businesses and government organizations. These included the websites of the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, the Finance Ministry, Nissan Motor Company, and the Financial Services Agency.
Although commercial whaling has been banned across the world for nearly three decades, Japanese whale and dolphin hunting has continued, despite international criticism and condemnation.
In 2004, the whaling project was declared to have no scientific value by the International Court of Justice. Despite this decision, in December last year, a new whaling program commenced, aiming to hunt and kill about 3,000 Antarctic minke whales during the next decade. Anonymous has been actively protesting this program since it resumed.
The Japanese hunting of whales, conducted to gather research for science, has been allowed by the International Whaling Commission, resulting in the killing of thousands of whales, and is a loophole that has been misused for decades. This is despite strong arguments from a large number of scientists in the US, Australia, Britain and New Zealand that other non-lethal forms of research yield similar results to those gained by whaling and dolphin hunting.