Nearly 50% of investments made through the new Nippon Individual Savings Account, or NISA, program went to Japanese stocks from January through March, a survey has shown.

During the quarter, the Nikkei 225 stock average rewrote its record high for the first time in 34 years and rose further to top 40,000.

The new NISA tax exemption program for small-lot investors allowing bigger tax-free investments began in January, replacing the previous NISA program.