Sixty percent of Japanese said research whaling should continue despite an international court order to halt the hunt and the fact that few Japanese regularly eat whale meat, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed.
Around 23 percent of respondents in the survey said Japan should stop whaling.
The International Court of Justice last month ordered Japan to halt the whaling program off Antarctica after raising doubts about the value of the research coming from so large a quota.
Forty percent of respondents said the court decision was reasonable, compared with 39 percent who said the ruling by the top U.N. court was unreasonable.
Still, 45 percent of those who supported the ICJ’s ruling said they think Japan should continue its research whaling operations, matching the percentage who believe Japan should end the program.
Even among those who do not eat whale meat, 48 percent supported the continuation of the whaling program, while 30 percent said the hunt should end.
The Asahi Shimbun conducted the telephone survey of 3,526 eligible voters on April 19 and 20, and received valid responses from 1,756, or 50 percent.
The survey results showed that just 4 percent of respondents occasionally eat whale meat, while 10 percent said they eat whale meat on rare occasions. Forty-eight percent said they have had whale meat once in the distant past, but they have not had it recently.
Thirty-seven percent, including roughly half of respondents in their 20s and 30s, said they do not eat whale meat.
In an Asahi Shimbun survey conducted in March 2002, 4 percent said they were occasional consumers of whale meat, while 9 percent said they only have it on rare occasions. Those who said they ate the meat once in the distant past accounted for 53 percent, while 33 percent said they do not consume whale meat.
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