The Wall Street Journal notes that cables released by WikiLeaks show the Japanese government repeatedly asked the US for help against anti-whaling activist organization Sea Shepherd (covered many times on BoingBoing in the past). These repeated requests for assistance included asking the US to revoke the group's tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization.
"Yamada inquired about an investigation into the tax status of the U.S.-based NGO Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and repeated Japan's request for the U.S. to take action against the organization, which he said created a very dangerous situation on the seas," according to the cable written by U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos in reference to Shuji Yamada, the vice minister of international affairs in the ministry of agricultural affairs, forestry and fisheries.
Japan has drawn international criticism for continuing whale hunting missions despite a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling set by the International Whaling Commission. Japan has said it is conducting "whale research," a crack in the ban that allows whales be caught for research purposes. Japanese whaling fleets depart for annual whaling hunts in the Southern Ocean in mid-November citing scientific research purposes. Critics say the real motive is to sell whale meat. The Japanese vessels kill over 500 whales each season.