"When the ICJ verdict was issued, I knew that although it was a great victory that vindicated our opposition to illegal whaling in the Southern Ocean, I could see the potential for the ICR to re-write their program and to return. My prediction was they would return for the 2015-2016 season. It seems that this is exactly what they intend to do," says Watson.
"The statement that Japan issued that they would comply with the ICJ ruling was I believe insincere."
While the details are unclear how the new program might differ from the previous hunts in the Southern Ocean, Watson believes it won't be a hands-off research approach.
"They're going to do lethal whaling. They need the meat to send back to pay for it."
In previous years, Japanese whalers averaged killing some 850 minke whales and up to 50 endangered fin whales every year.