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

Rakuten and Ivory: Success for Elephants

In a major victory for elephants Rakuten Ichiba, Japan’s largest e-commerce company, ceased ivory sales on July 1, 2017. Starting in 2014, EIA led a campaign calling on Rakuten to end its sales of elephant ivory. Japan has one of the world’s largest domestic ivory markets, and Rakuten was once Japan’s leading online retailer of ivory products. A 2014 EIA investigation found that Rakuten’s website supported more than 28,000 ads for elephant ivory items and offered a range of ivory products for sale including whole tusks and musical instrument accessories, though the vast majority of ivory products were hanko name seals.

Despite a landmark decision at CITES CoP17 in 2016 to close down domestic ivory markets, the Government of Japan has refused to ban ivory sales or acknowledge the role Japan plays in the illegal ivory trade and poaching of elephants. Instead, private sector companies like Rakuten have stepped up and taken matters into their own hands to protect elephants. Rakuten’s laudable decision to ban ivory sales demonstrates the important role that Japanese industry can play in the fight to save the world’s elephants.

Related Resources

Learn more about Rakuten’s decision to cease ivory sales by reading EIA’s press release and associated blog post

Check out Blood e-Commerce, our 2014 report on Rakuten’s ivory sales

Read about Japan’s domestic ivory market and how it contributes to elephant poaching and illegal trade in two of our earlier reports: Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade (2015) and The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade (2016)

Recent Blog Posts

Kruger National Park Rhino Population Crash Underscores Continued Poaching Threat Facing World’s Rhinos
01/29/2021
Newly released rhino population data reveals how the protracted poaching crisis fueled by consumer demand for rhino horn in Asia has decimated Kruger’s rhino population over the past decade.
World Rhino Day 2020: No Time for Complacency
09/22/2020
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.

Recent Reports

NGO Appeal to Tokyo for Urgent Measures on Ivory
02/18/2021
EIA and 25 international non-government environmental and conservation organizations sent a letter February 18, 2021 to follow up on a previous appeal from March 2020. Our organizations encourage the closure of Tokyo's ivory market and also recommend some actions the Tokyo Metropolitan Government should take before the ivory market can be closed, including during the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games. The letter can be viewed in English and Japanese.
Willing to Sell: Snapshot Investigations of Ivory Hanko Retailers in Japan
12/17/2020
Report: Willing to Sell- Snapshot Investigations of Ivory Hanko Retailers in Japan

Recent Press Releases

Japanese Retailers Willing to Sell Ivory Hanko for Illegal Export
12/17/2020
Investigations of Japanese hanko retailers revealed that many are willing to sell an ivory product knowing that it will be exported internationally despite most being aware that ivory export is illegal.
Tokyo urged to resurrect ivory trade assessment
06/26/2020
Elephant advocates worldwide are urging the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, under Governor Yuriko Koike’s leadership, to complete Tokyo’s elephant ivory trade assessment
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!