JAPAN plans to resume Antarctic whaling next year but with fewer killings and involving only minke whale, a government agency has announced.

The move involves revising a research programme that was rejected by the UN's top court which found it was not for the research purposes Japan claimed .

The Antarctic whale hunt is one of two research whaling programmes that Japan has conducted since a 1986 international ban on commercial whaling.

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In March, the International Court of Justice ruled the Antarctic programme was not scientific as Japan claimed and must stop.

Japan's Fisheries Agency said officials were working on a new programme for submission to the International Whaling Commission's scientific committee around November.

Japan will go to the Antarctic later this year, but only for non-lethal research.

Opponents, who have often tried to disrupt the whaling programme on protest ships, say Japan's research hunt is a cover for commercial whaling.