Japan proposed Wednesday that the International Whaling Commission discuss resuming commercial whaling of some species at a meeting in September.
Tokyo is targeting certain types of relatively abundant whales such as minke whales.
Japan last proposed resuming commercial whaling in 2014, when its proposal was rejected. This time the Japan proposal also calls for easing the IWC's decision-making rules, in a bid to make the overall package appealing to anti-whaling members.
Currently, a three-fourths majority of IWC members is needed to set a catch quota or establish a sanctuary where whaling is banned. The Japanese proposal would lower the hurdle to a simple majority, thus making it easier to designate new whale sanctuaries.
As of June, 40 of the 88 IWC members supported whaling while 48 opposed it, according to Japan's Fisheries Agency.
In 1982, the IWC declared there should be a moratorium on commercial whaling and the ban came into force in 1986.
Japan stopped commercial whaling in fiscal 1988, but continues to hunt whales for "research purposes," drawing international criticism that the activity is a cover for commercial whaling.
The meeting from Sept. 10 to 14 in Brazil will be chaired by Joji Morishita, a Japanese government representative.