Japanese whalers are discussing plans ahead of their July 1 resumption of commercial hunting along the northeastern coasts for the first time in three decades.
Their preparation follows Japan's decision in December to leave the International Whaling Commission, abandoning hope of gaining support within the organization that has largely become a home for conservationists.
The Fisheries Agency says whalers in six coastal towns are to bring five vessels to form a joint fleet to sail along the northeastern coasts beginning July 1, one day after Japan formally withdraws from the IWC.
Japan will stop its much-criticized hunts in the Antarctic, where it had conducted so-called research hunts since the IWC imposed moratorium in the 1980s.
Japan has cut back on its catch due to limited whale meat consumption at home.