Majority of Japanese Public Does Not Support Whaling or Consume Whale Meat
According to this International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Greenpeace survey conducted in 2000, 55% of Japanese adults had no opinion or were “neutral” about whaling, while 14% were in opposition, and and 11% were in support. Another 20% of respondents gave qualified support depending on the reason the whale is being killed.
Although the Japanese government has been the strongest global proponent for the reopening of international commercial whaling, this poll shows that Japanese citizens are largely neutral on the importance of commercial whaling; 24% feel it is important, 25% feel it is not, and half are undecided.
In fact, 14% oppose whaling outright, 11% are in support, and the majority (55%) had no opinion. Another 20% thought that the reason for killing the whales would play an important part in their opinion.
Significantly, this report finds that the Japanese culture would not suffer from the cessation of whaling, as only one in twenty think that a “great deal” of damage would result if stopped and 42% feel that “not very much” damage or “not at all” would result.
IFAW interprets these results to mean that the Japanese no longer consider whaling to be an integral part of their cultural heritage, nor do they support it. As further evidence, 61% of survey respondents have not eaten whale since childhood, if at all.