TOKYO — Japan will hunt whales off the northern island of Hokkaido this week with plans to catch up to 51 minkes despite international criticism.

The Fisheries Agency said the coastal whaling is aimed at contributing to resource management by looking into whale’s ecology through analysis of stomach contents and organs.

In March 2014, the International Court of Justice in the Hague ordered Japan to halt what Tokyo calls research whaling in the Antarctic, ruling it contravenes a 1986 moratorium on whaling.

The decision led Japan to suspend whaling in the Southern Ocean in the previous financial year through March, but the country has said it will resume hunting there later this year.

Japan officially halted commercial whaling in 1987, but critics argue it continues whaling under the premise of research.


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