Greens deliver letter to PM Abe from Sea Shepherd captain

THE founder of the group that each year tries to stop Japanese whalers in the southern ocean appealed directly to the nation's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on Tuesday night.

Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson had The Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson hand deliver a letter to Mr Abe urging Japan not to re-open whaling.

The letter, Senator Whish-Wilson said, appealed "personally and respectfully" to Mr Abe to "reconsider any plans for a continuation of lethal whaling research in the Southern Ocean".

But it remains to be seen if the letter will change Japan's position, after Mr Abe on Tuesday afternoon reiterated the country planned to reopen its "scientific research" program.

Mr Abe said while Japan had respected the International Court of Justice's decision that whaling was not legal, but that scientific research would continue nonetheless.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott also said while the two "friends" had disagreements on some issues, any resumption of whaling would not damage the "special relationship" between the two nations.