Japan to start annual coastal research whaling Sat.

The Fisheries Agency on Friday said Japan would begin research whaling off Miyagi Prefecture's Ishinomaki from the following day until early June.

The coastal whaling is part of Japan's annual research whaling in the northwestern Pacific, the hunt commencing after the International Court of Justice ruled in March that Japan's research whaling in the Antarctic violated the International Convention of the Regulation of Whaling.

In response to the ruling, the government has decided to cut the whale catch quota in the Northwestern Pacific in fiscal 2014 to next March to 210 whales from the previous year's 380 and cancel the year's whaling in the Antarctic. But it plans to resume Antarctic whaling in the next fiscal year.

The agency said it moved the starting date for the coastal whaling off Ishinomaki from last Tuesday to Saturday as it took extra time for coordination with police and the Japan Coast Guard in anticipation of obstruction by anti-whaling groups.