BLOG: Japan is Revising its Law on Ivory Trade – Time to Finally Close the Market
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On the streets of Tokyo, if you’re looking for elephant ivory products, particularly hanko (name seals), you can pop into a shop and purchase ivory legally and easily. In recent years most ivory consumer countries have closed their domestic markets for ivory. However, one major outlier still remains open for business: Japan. For years, the EIA and JTEF have drawn attention to Japan’s role in the global ivory trade – the very existence of Japan’s ivory market undermines international efforts to protect elephants from the trade in ivory. Elephants are still being poached in Africa, which means that demand for their ivory tusks persists. In April 2024 Vietnam intercepted 1.6 tonnes of elephant ivory smuggled from Nigeria, following the March…

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Donations from Sophie Hawkins
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Thank you for the Donations from Sophie Hawkins, a fashion designer based in the UK! Sophie Hawkins, a sustainable fashion designer collaborated with a denim factory in Okayama, Japan to produce her own line of jumpsuits. Since she wanted to promote conservation of endangered tigers, she found JTEF on Instagram and contacted us about supporting our work. With the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, JTEF had to suspend participation in all face-to-face events, which meant that we took a huge loss in our fundraising efforts here in Japan. Getting a message from Sophie during that time was so encouraging! At that time, she was just getting her project up and running, using crowdfunding, she was able to launch…

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BLOG: Resonate across the globe in the World Elephant Day 2020, demands for closing the ivory market in Tokyo and Japan
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August 12th is World Elephant Day, a day to celebrate the world’s iconic elephants and their preservation and protection. Thousands of elephants are killed every year for their tusks to make trinkets including hanko or name seal stamp, and in some African regions, elephant populations are being completely decimated. Any existing ivory market is a threat to elephants everywhere. To address the threat of ivory trade, many governments have closed their ivory markets, to send a signal that ivory consumption is unacceptable and also to simplify enforcement. The United States, China, the United Kingdom and other ivory consuming nations have taken steps to shut down their domestic ivory markets. Japan’s ivory market, however remains open based on its firm policy,…

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BLOG: The “New Normal” Sharing The Earth with Living Creatures in The Wild
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The Covid-19 pandemic has been damaging human health, our daily lives and economy all over the world. As a consequence of the sudden standstill of many human activities, the living creatures in the wild are significantly affected somehow. They seem to be less pressured in their habitat than before the pandemic and have set about stretching their range to the limit, for example, tiger sightings have become more common in villages in India. This phenomenon may probably be because of stagnant tourism and development projects, and restricted daily movement of the residents. What’s happening to poaching and illegal trade of wild animals? Looking at the recent news, 6 elephants were killed with their tusks chopped off within just one day in…

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BLOG: 2020 World Wildlife Day, a message from JTEF
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According to predictions, corona virus is unlikely to stop influencing things soon. Many people may feel it’s an unexpected disaster. But, it’s not true. This kind of incident could have happened at any moment. Our society has already experienced outbreak of SARS and subsequently, several types of bird flu, etc. The root of outbreak, even on a pandemic level, in some cases like these newly emerging infectious diseases, are the results of human beings stirring up the natural ecosystems violently, which have been diversified in each area of the planet.. We warned the same thing at that time, when SARS flourished, but have to repeat it now that we must reconsider about commercial exploitation, consumption and trade of wild animals not…

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BLOG: Council of Elders of the 32-member African Elephant Coalition (AEC) calls on Japan to close its ivory market
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June 17, 2019: The African Elephant Coalition (AEC) comprising 32 African countries and the majority of African elephant range states (28) made a press release that AEC Council of Elders called on the government of Japan to close its ivory market, among the world’s largest, and support stronger protection of Africa’s elephants. “We’re calling on Japan to follow the example of China and close its domestic ivory market. We believe that doing so will strengthen Japan’s international conservation image ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics”, said Azizou El Hadj Issa, Chairman of the AEC’s Council of Elders, in his letters to Taro Kono, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yoshiaki Harada the Minister of Environment and Hiroshige Seko, the Minister…

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BLOG: Annoyance sparking ivory dealers sneering at the “tightening” ivory whole tusk registration from July 1st
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June 7, 2019, Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (MoE) announced their “plan to tighten the examination on applications for ivory whole tusk registration”. Domestic ivory trade in Japan is controlled by the “Law for Conservation of Endangered Species” (LCES). The key of the controls is the regulation “prohibiting transferring or receiving ivory without registration”. However, the regulated “ivory” is limited to “tusks maintaining their whole shape”. Ivory cut pieces and products not maintaining the original silhouette like a crescent can be traded without registration. But, in other words, is it true ivory trade has been effectively regulated as long as whole tusks are concerned? That’s not true, also. Needless to say, some legal requirements for allowing registration are set…

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BLOG: KEEN + JTEF Us 4 Iriomote
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April 12, 2019  Aoyama, Tokyo A well-known footwear company, KEEN held a media event to launch their “Us 4 Iriomote” campaign in 2019 to help conserve the natural/cultural environment in Iriomote island. The initiative includes funding some non-governmental organizations working on the ground, producing a movie featuring the people’s life in Iriomote island throughout four seasons, promoting 4 actions that people can do to help support the future of the natural wilderness of Iriomote. 1 Get to know the nature & culture of Iriomote. 2 Take action to protect the nature of Iriomote. 3 Have dialogue about and envision the future of nature. 4 To Continue to maintain its beauty for the next generation. This Keen CSR project will help…

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