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

EIA Demands Closure of Japan’s Ivory Market Following New Evidence of Illegal Ivory Trade

WASHINGTON, DC - The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling for the closure of Japan’s domestic ivory market after new evidence of illegal trade in ivory tusks was linked to the Ministry of Environment’s tusk registration scheme. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department recently announced it obtained evidence suggesting that government-contracted Japan Wildlife Research Centre (JWRC) and ivory trader “Raftel” colluded to illegally register ivory tusks.

The Tokyo 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. Media reports indicate that the Tokyo Police believe illegal trade in ivory is “rampant” in Japan. According to reports, Raftel’s president told police that he was following instructions from the JWRC to register the tusks on behalf of customers.

“Sadly, we are not surprised that the JWRC is being implicated in a scheme by ivory traders to register tusks illegally,” said Danielle Grabiel, EIA Senior Policy Analyst. “It appears that JWRC knew fraudulent documents were being presented by Raftel to gain legal status for illegal ivory but allowed Raftel to carry out registration anyway.”

EIA first reported in 2015 that Japan’s tusk registration scheme was rife with fraudulent declarations that allowed undocumented illegal ivory tusks to be legalized for sale onto Japan’s domestic market.

According to news reports, Raftel registered 400-500 tusks over the past four to five years. The Japanese Diet recently passed amendments to the LCES that were purported to strengthen the law, but the new changes do nothing to address the serious problems in the tusk registration scheme.

“Japan’s ivory tusk registration scheme is a poacher’s paradise, allowing vast amounts of illegal tusks to be legalized for sale on Japan’s domestic market," said EIA president, Allan Thornton.

The Government of Japan has announced its intention to launch an expanded tusk registration campaign nationwide that will increase demand for ivory in Japan, while legalizing large amounts of illegal ivory.

“To show it is serious about stopping its illegal ivory trade problem, Japan needs to cease all registration of whole tusks immediately as a step in closing its domestic ivory market,” said Grabiel.

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.

“In light of the resolution recommending the closure of domestic markets and the problems illustrated by the Raftel case, Japan needs to act urgently to close its domestic ivory market. The recent LCES amendments are far too little, far too late,” Thornton added.

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

View all Press Releases

Recent Blog Posts

World Rhino Day 2020: No Time for Complacency
Today marks the 10 years since the first World Rhino Day celebration on September 22, 2010. The past decade has been fraught with challenges for the world’s rhinos, yet some progress has been made. If the next 10 years are to be better for rhinos than the past 10 years, we cannot afford to lose focus now.
Thirty Years Since the International Ivory Ban, Say Goodbye to Ivory Hanko
Around 20,000 elephants have been killed every year in Africa, for the past decade at least, to supply the global trade in ivory. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) decided to end international ivory trade in 1989. This year marks thirty years since the ban entered into effect, on January 18, 1990. Still, why does the poaching continue?

Recent Reports

Cashing-In On Chaos
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)’s three-year investigation into the Senegal-Gambia-China rosewood traffic uncovered unprecedented evidence on a series of major forest crimes.
EIA 2018 Impact Report
In 2018 the Environmental Investigation Agency continued to confront the greatest environmental threats facing the world today. The EIA team pursued, documented and exposed the activities of syndicates that threaten endangered species, damage the climate and ozone layer, and drive the trade in timber stolen from the world’s most important remaining forests.

Recent Press Releases

Newly Released Recordings Pull Back the Curtain on the Canadian Company Behind Pebble Mine
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today released two tapes that feature Canadian mining baron, Ron Thiessen, discussing his political strategy for securing a federal permit for the controversial Pebble Mine project in southwest Alaska.
Pebble Mine Tape Reveal Plans to Build Massive 180-Year Mine at the Headwaters of Bristol Bay in Alaska
Recorded Conversations with Pebble Mine Executives Reveal Plans to Build Massive 180-Year Mine at the Headwaters of Bristol Bay in Alaska
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!