Japan will hunt whales again, after it announced a ‘redesign’ of its ‘scientific’ slaughter.

Japanese fisheries minister Yoshimasa Hayashi says a recent international Court of Justice ruling, which deemed Japan’s JARPA whale ‘research’ program scientifically invalid, maintains the notion of “the sustainable use of whales as a resource”.

“Based on this ... and in line with international law and scientific principles, our nation will carry out research whaling to get the scientific information essential to manage whales as a resource,” he said in a recent interview.

He says whalers could be back on the water soon.

“We will carry out extensive studies in cooperation with ministries concerned to submit a new research program by this autumn to the International Whaling Commission, reflecting the criteria laid out in the verdict.”

The fisheries minister reiterated after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the 2014-2015 hunt in the Southern Ocean will be cancelled.

New documents have been filed with a US district court in which Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research says it will be back in the Southern Ocean in 2015-16, operating a new “research” program.

Also, the ruling that called off the southern whale hunt does not apply to programs in the Pacific Ocean.

A Japanese authority said there be only a slight reduction to the “research” program in the north-western Pacific, which will see whaling vessels depart Japanese shores on Saturday April 26th.