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TOKYO — Japan said Friday it aims to resume whale hunts in the Antarctic later this year, even though the International Whaling Commission says Tokyo hasn't proven that the mammals need to be killed for research.

The IWC banned commercial whaling in 1986, but Japan continued killing whales under an exemption for research, saying lethal sampling is necessary for whale stock management and conservation. After the International Court of Justice ruled last year that its earlier hunts were not truly scientific, Japan sent a nonlethal expedition to the Antarctic, and filed a revised whaling plan for next winter that calls for catching 333 minke whales, about one-third of what it used to target.

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Associated Press