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Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research on Friday filed briefs in the U.S. District Court in Seattle stating its intent to resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean as early as fiscal 2015.
The move immediately faced strong opposition from conservation group Sea Shepherd as it came less than two weeks after the International Court of Justice ordered Japan on March 31 to stop its so-called research whaling in the ocean.
The Japanese government plans to resume whale hunting as soon as the fiscal year starting April 2015 by changing its research program, such as reducing the number of whales to be taken.
The ICR has said that the new program will not run counter to the ICJ ruling.
The ICR and Sea Shepherd have been locked in a legal dispute in the United States, with the institute seeking an end to the antiwhaling group's interference in its hunt.
"The statement that Japan issued that they would comply with the ICJ ruling was I believe insincere," said Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson.
"Japan has a history of duplicity with regard to whaling. I fully expect that Sea Shepherd Global will be prepared to return to the Southern Ocean in December 2015 to once again defend the integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary," Watson said.
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