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Environmentalists Commend China for Closing Ivory Stores and Factories, Urge Japan to Take Similar Steps to End Ivory Trade

WASHINGTON, DC – This week China’s State Forestry Administration announced the closure of approximately 67 ivory carving workshops and retail outlets. The announcement is an important first step by Chinese authorities toward implementing the country’s commitment to close its domestic ivory market by the end of 2017.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) commended China for following through on its pledge and urged the Government of Japan to take immediate action to close down its domestic ivory trade.

“Japan is the largest remaining legal domestic ivory market. It is time for Japan to follow the lead of China and the United States and close down its market so that elephant populations stand a real chance of recovery,” said EIA president Allan Thornton.

Last October 180 member nations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreed unanimously to close domestic ivory markets where they contribute to illegal trade or poaching.

“Japan is awash with ivory of dubious legality and fraud, and abuse of ivory trade controls are rampant,” Thornton continued. “Japan is obliged to close down its market consistent with its treaty commitments.”

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

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