Japan will hunt fewer whales when Pacific season begins next week; will observe in Antarctic

Japan will target fewer whales when the Pacific hunt begins next week and will limit next season's Antarctic whaling to observation.

The decisions came after the International Court of Justice ordered Japan last month to suspend Antarctic whaling. The court said the program was commercial, not scientific as Japan had contended.

Japan's whaling program in the northern Pacific was not challenged in the ruling.

Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Friday that the Pacific catch target was being slashed to about 210 from the current 380.

The annual spring hunt along Japan's northern coast is to begin next week, and the distant expedition in May.