Press Release

Press Release

2020 Olympics Games are now over. Focus on the closure of TOKYO ivory market.
939 936 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

31 organizations in the world jointly sent a letter to the Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike to take steps to ban most elephant ivory sales. October 7, 2021The Honorable Yuriko KoikeGovernor of TokyoSecretarial Section, General Affairs Division, Office of the Governor for Policy PlanningTokyo Metropolitan Government8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku 2-chomeShinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 163-8001Japan Dear Governor Koike:Congratulations to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) for successfully hosting the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We appreciate your tireless efforts to meet the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the Games are over, we urge Tokyo and Japan to focus on pending matters of global importance, including the assessment of Tokyo’s ivory trade policies and establishing measures to eliminate the illegal ivory trade and, thereby,…

read more
PRESS RELEASE: Japan’s Domestic Bekko Market Dependent on Smuggled Tortoiseshell Risking the Extinction of Hawksbill Turtles
240 237 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

Tokyo, Japan – June 30, 2021 Tokyo, Japan – July 1, 2021 A report is released today by the Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF): “Dark Side of the Everlasting Tortoiseshell-Crafting in Japan”. The hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is one of the seven species of sea turtles and is listed as “Critically Endangered” (CR) in the IUCN Red List. One of the major threats to hawksbills is illegal take for the purpose of commercial trade in its tortoiseshell; used exclusively as a raw material for crafts called “bekko zaiku (crafts)” in Japan. Japan was famously the world’s largest country importing tortoiseshell. All populations of hawksbill turtles were listed in Appendix I of the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species…

read more
Press Release: Tokyo Fumbles Short-Term Ivory Trade Action
300 200 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

TOKYO – Conservation, environmental and animal welfare groups bemoaned measures announced today by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to address Tokyo’s illegal ivory trade as a missed opportunity. Tokyo’s short-term plan is focused only on consumer awareness and falls dramatically short of expectations for substantive action, instead replicating previous failed awareness efforts by Japan’s national government. The measures include an awareness campaign to educate consumers and recommend that registered ivory retailers alert customers about the illegality of ivory export – all efforts that the national government has undertaken for more than three years and which have failed to stem illegal ivory exports. Amy Zets Croke, senior policy analyst at the Environmental Investigation Agency said: “These ‘new’ measures in Tokyo are just…

read more
PRESS RELEASE: Threat to Critically Endangered Hawksbill Turles: Japan’s Involvement in the Illegal Tortoiseshell Trade
659 723 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

May 31, 2021 TOKYO—WWF, TRAFFIC and Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF) released today a report: ”SHELL SHOCKED: JAPAN’S ROLE IN THE ILLEGAL TORTOISESHELL TRADE”. It reveals that recently the tortoiseshell of hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), has been increasingly smuggled into Japan. This active market in Japan of tortoiseshell crafts, called “Bekko craft” is contributing to the illegal international trade. Hawksbill turtles are one of the seven species of marine turtles and are listed as “Critically Endangered” (CR) in the IUCN Red List, After World War II, Japan grew to be the largest country importing tortoiseshell equivalent to tens of thousands of hawksbills every year. Japan bowed to international pressure and officially stopped importing hawksbill tortoiseshell in 1993, when more…

read more
PRESS RELEASE: Legal Sales of Ivory in Tokyo Drive Illegal Exports
574 585 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

New Investigation by WildAid and the Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund. Tokyo, Japan – March 26, 2021 A report released today by WildAid and the Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF)­ documents ivory businesses in Tokyo targeting Chinese customers, who knowingly operate with the assumption that the purchased ivory items will eventually be exported, evading direct involvement in illegal export, and complying with the laws and regulations on domestic ivory trade. ‘TOKYO IVORY Catering to International Orders: An investigation behind the scenes of persistent illegal ivory exports’ undercover investigations conducted in 2018 and 2019 into two companies managed by Chinese nationals. The first company revealed that the ivory items bought by customers at its shop had been seized by…

read more
PRESS RELEASE: Japanese Retailers Willing to Sell Ivory Hanko for Illegal Export
1024 1018 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

TOKYO, JAPAN – 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. A new report by the Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF) and the Washington, DC-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Willing to Sell: Snapshot Investigations of Ivory Hanko Retailers in Japan, details results from two investigations into ivory hanko retailers. The main findings of the investigations, which took place in summer and fall of 2020, found: In three large urban areas in Japan, 38 percent of the retailers were willing to sell an ivory hanko knowing it would be illegally exported. In 2018, the same retailers had…

read more
PRESS RELEASE: Tokyo urged to resurrect ivory trade assessment
250 249 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

WASHINGTON/TOKYO (June 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, which is examining the trade in ivory in Tokyo prefecture, and propose measures to address it. As Tokyo embraces the “new normal” and continues to adapt to address COVID-19, the advocates are renewing their plea to protect elephants by urging the Tokyo government to immediately restart the Advisory Committee on Regulation of Ivory Trade, which has been suspended for four months. While Africa’s elephants continue to be poached for their ivory, the government of Japan has failed to adequately control the legalized domestic trade in ivory, and loopholes in the superficial regulations have facilitated illegal…

read more
REPORTS: JTEF published “Emerging Problems Tarnish the Modest Progress on Protecting OUV of Iriomote Island”
1024 439 Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

10/10/2019 JTEF and Yamaneko Patrol published a review on the nomination made by the government of Japan in January, 2019 of Amami-Oshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, the northern part of Okinawa Island and Iriomote Island for inscription on the World Heritage List. This report was developed for consideration by the experts of IUCN verification mission, ahead of their on-the-spot verification tour to Iriomote Island on October 11, 2019.

read more