Japan vowed on Friday to restart its controversial whaling programme in the Antarctic next year.
The move comes the day after the International Whaling Commission backed an earlier International Court of Justice ruling that the whaling programme was illegal because it is not for research purposes.
Japan maintains its annual whale hunt is solely for research. Critics argue it is commercial whaling in disguise.
Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihde Suga said: “Japan will continue to work in accordance with the decision taken by the International Court of Justice to propose a new Antarctic scientific whaling program that could be implemented from 2015.”
Few Japanese now eat whale but the government argues the meat is a part of Japanese food culture.
Two other countries in the world -Norway and Iceland – both continue to hunt whales. They use a legal loophole where they object to the
whaling moratorium which allows them to get around the international ban and hunt commercially.