If you are looking for EIA UK, it's over here.

EIA Condemns Japan’s Ivory Tusk Registration Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC – The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today condemned the Government of Japan’s decision to launch a nationwide ivory tusk registration campaign characterizing it as a large-scale amnesty of illegal ivory.

"The Government of Japan is not only promoting trade in illegal ivory to sustain its ivory traders, but is also sabotaging international efforts to ban the domestic ivory trade by China and other nations," said EIA president Allan Thornton.

Japanese Minister of Environment, Masaharu Nakagawa, announced on August 29th that the ministry is launching a campaign to promote the registration of privately-held ivory tusks. A tusk must be registered with the government in order to be sold in Japan. The campaign is purportedly intended to gauge the size of the national stockpile, but the tusk registration regulations are weak and full of loopholes making it impossible to prevent illegal ivory from being registered.

EIA investigations in Japan have confirmed that illegal ivory trade is rife because the government does not require any meaningful proof of legality to register a tusk. Only ivory imported prior to the 1989 international ivory trade ban is legally allowed to be registered in Japan, yet the checks in place are virtually nonexistent. Many ivory tusks registered in Japan are cut up and made into hanko name seals and sold on online shopping sites.

“It is very telling that the Government of Japan is launching this campaign without making reforms to the ivory tusk registration scheme,” said EIA senior policy analyst Danielle Grabiel. “The government knows as well as we do that it is impossible to prove the legality of the vast majority of ivory in Japan.”

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police announced on June 20th that it had charged the president of antique company, Raftel, and 27 customers with violating Japan’s Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LCES) for illegal trade in unregistered ivory. According to news reports, Raftel registered 400-500 tusks over the past four to five years.

On August 24th, media reports confirmed that the Tokyo Police is planning to file charges against a total of 10 people and customers of the Ueno-based precious metal trading company "Flores" in Tokyo, under allegations of violating the Law on the Conservation of Endangered Species for trading in ivory.

In July, Japanese internet giant Rakuten announced a comprehensive policy change to end all sales of elephant ivory. Internet retailers Google, Amazon.com, Alibaba, and eBay have also banned ivory sales on all their sites globally, but Yahoo! Japan continues to sell large quantities of ivory tusks and hanko name seals.

Last year, parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) unanimously agreed upon a resolution calling for the closure of domestic ivory markets in countries with legal markets linked to illegal trade or poaching. Japan has claimed it is not obliged to abide by the resolution, despite evidence that it has a considerable problem with illegal ivory trade.

EIA urges the Government of Japan to halt plans to launch its tusk registration campaign and start taking steps to close down its domestic ivory market.

Contact:
Maggie Dewane, EIA Press Officer, mdewane@eia-global.org, +1 (202) 483-6621

View all Press Releases

Recent Blog Posts

Celebrating the Life's Work of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Savior of Elephants in Africa
04/20/2018
Last week, the wildlife conservationist community, and more importantly the world’s elephants, lost one of their most important and avid champions when Daphne Sheldrick, savior of hundreds of orphaned African elephants, died on April 12 in Nairobi at the age of 83.
EIA Condemns Establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Desk
03/06/2018
EIA condemns the establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Africa (RHTA), an initiative launched yesterday by the South Africa-based Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA).

Recent Reports

Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project in Cook Inlet
05/11/2018
EIA letter to NOAA regarding proposed LNG Project in Cook Inlet
Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad
02/14/2018
El reciente informe de EIA, El Momento de la Verdad mostró que la ilegalidad y el fraude son generalizados en todo el sector maderero peruano, y que una gran parte de la madera talada ilegalmente se exporta a decenas de países. En “Destino China: resumen complementario al informe Momento de la Verdad”, EIA parte de los mismos datos y análisis para destacar el mayor mercado de destino para las exportaciones de madera ilegal de Perú: China.

Recent Press Releases

IMO Takes Major Step Towards Ending Dirty Fuel Use in the Arctic
04/13/2018
EIA hails the IMO's agreement to develop a ban on the use and carriage for use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic.
IMO Member States Must Back Ban on Heavy Fuel Oil from Arctic Shipping
04/09/2018
As a meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee opens today in London (MEPC72), the Clean Arctic Alliance called on IMO member states to support a proposal to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping.

Recent Videos

Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska
09/19/2017
A short video about the endangered population of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet
New York Ivory Crush
08/04/2017
New York state destroyed nearly two tons of ivory in Central Park
Tell Yahoo! Japan to Stop Ivory Sales!
Yahoo! Japan is the largest internet seller of ivory in the world. Lend your voice and tell Yahoo! Japan to cease all ivory sales to protect elephants!
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!
SHARE THE LATEST: The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade
Support Domestic Ivory Trade Bans!
Don’t Buy From Icelandic Whalers
Help EIA stop ivory trade to protect elephants!