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Nearly 82 percent of Japanese prefer food made domestically to imported food, mainly because of its presumed safety, according to the results of a government survey released Saturday.

In the poll by the Prime Minister’s Office, 81.9 percent said they would choose domestic food to imported food. The survey was conducted in July on 5,000 people aged 20 and over and had a response rate of 71.4 percent.

Asked to give multiple replies as to why they prefer domestic food, 82 percent said “safety,” while 57.3 percent said “freshness.” Only 10.5 percent mentioned “prices,” and a mere 1.8 percent said product “type” was the reason for their choice.

Regarding Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate, which currently stands at 40 percent of caloric intake, 52.8 percent said they regard the figure as being “low” or “somewhat low,” and 10.8 percent said they thought it was “high” or “somewhat high.”

The self-sufficiency rate is calculated by dividing domestic food supply by overall food demand expressed in calories per person per day. The survey shows that 78.4 percent have fears about Japan’s future food supply, a higher figure than the 70.5 percent in a previous survey in 1996.

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