A survey published this week shows the surprising result that almost three quarters of Japanese internet users read blogs at least once a week - a significantly higher rate than in other nations, including the UK, the US and France.

The research [PDF link], carried out last November for Edleman in Japan, found that 74 per cent of respondents are regular blog readers. This compares to 23 percent in the UK, 27 per cent in the US and 22 per cent in France.

Although the Japanese survey was conducted online and so is almost certainly skewed in favour of veteran web users, the findings bear scrutiny. The standout headline is that the Japanese are unlikely to act on matters pertaining to public affairs after considering the issues online, but there are nuggets buried deeper in the analysis.

People finding their voice

Most significant among the conclusions drawn by the authors is the conclusion that, "Japanese are more likely than people in other countries to punish companies they do not trust by taking actions against them, so it would seem just a matter of time for this tendency to assert itself online in the marketplace and at election time."

If such an interpretation is to be believed - and we're inclined to agree with Edelman that this is correct in both Japan and the rest of the world - it seems clear that the internet is finally about to provide a platform from which the masses will simply have to be heard. Either that or we'll be subject to ever more insidious marketing and politicking through our inboxes, of course.

[Image courtesy of the very cool British site gapingvoid]