Support for whale meat consumption has reached its lowest in years in Japan, a new poll is showing, with the national whaling fleet expected to depart for its annual hunt in the coming weeks.
Almost 90 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed by Nippon Research Centre said that they had not bought whale meat in the past year.
“Of those 11 per cent that have bought it, many of them said it was just once within the last year so,” said a representative from the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which commissioned the poll. “Even among those who are very occasionally buying whale meat, it’s less and less a staple in their diet.”
The poll also showed that 90 percent of the respondents oppose the use of public money to build a new factory ship for whaling.
Several protests were organized in the last months against Japan’s whaling campaigns, as well as against the killing of dolphins in the Japanese town of Taiji. Counter-demonstrations were held by nationalists who say that Japan’s traditions should be preserved.