Japan kills 30 whales for research hunt

TOKYO — Japan has caught 30 whales off its northern coast in its first hunt since an international court ordered the halt of its annual expedition in the Antarctic.

Japan’s Fisheries Agency said Friday that a coastal whaling fleet killed 30 minke whales during the April-June season as part of Japan’s northwestern Pacific research hunt. Another group of whalers is still at work in a more distant area of the Pacific.

The northwestern Pacific hunt is one of two research whaling programs that Japan has conducted since a 1986 international ban on commercial whaling.

In March, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was not scientific as Japan had claimed and must stop.

Japan has suspended next season’s Antarctic hunt but is seeking to revise and resume it.

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