Japan Tiger Elephant Organization

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REPORTS: “Compelled to Close: Top 5 Reasons for Closing Japan’s Domestic Ivory Market
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May 31, 2019   TOKYO – Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF) released its new report: “Compelled to Close: Top 5 Reasons for Closing Japan’s Domestic Ivory Market” before the opening 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).   The closure of world’s domestic ivory markets including Japan will be discussed at CITES CoP18 meeting. The government of Japan is planning to end a campaign promoting ivory registration at the end of May and introduce a stricter regulation on ivory registration procedure from the beginning of July, intending to get the recognition of international community on maintaining its ivory market.   The new report…

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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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Reality Check: Japan’s Legal Domestic Ivory Market – Toward he 77th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC77)
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The 77th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC77) will be held on 5th to 10th November 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland. Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF) and Envitonmental Investigation Agency (EIA) published a briefing Document for delegates to SC77. Overview ● Japan’s legal framework for the control of the trade in elephant ivory is designed and built to regulate and facilitate commercial ivory trade and support ivory traders. ● Japan’s ivory market is open – all pre-Convention ivory and ivory imported in the two CITES-approved sales can be traded. ● Japan should be included in the analysis of ivory seizures related to domestic ivory markets under Decision 19.99. At CoP19 in November 2022, Parties agreed to launch an analysis…

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PRESS RELEASE: International community relies more on Tokyo than on Japanese government on regulating over open domestic ivory market
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Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund and 16 NGOs in the world sent a letter to the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in January 2023, requesting to enact an ordinance to be adopted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to close the ivory market in Tokyo with only very narrow exemptions if necessary. The Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade designated under the initiative of the Tokyo Governor on January 28, 2020 was closed on March 29, 2022, issuing the final recommendations after some delay due to COVID-19 pandemic. The most potential and noteworthy recommendation is: “[…] The Tokyo Metropolitan Government should consider legal or other effective means to ensure that the ivory trade does not contribute to elephant poaching and illegal…

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PRESS RELEASE: Inevitable Challenges: Restriction of Tourist Visitation to Iriomote Island
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JTEF and its office in Iriomote Island: Yamaneko Patrol published a report on reducing levels of tourist visitation and strengthening the traffic management measures designed to reduce road fatalities of Iriomote cats. It aims to review the Japanese government’s report on its response to the World Heritage Committee’s decision. This report concluded that setting a specific allowable limit of the number of tourists to Iriomote Island which is to be considerably less than the one before Covid-19 pandemic is essential from the perspective of both reducing levels of tourist visitation and prevention of road fatalities of Iriomote cats. It was submitted to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that is responsible for examining the response of Japanese government…

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PRESS RELEASE: Japan Prime Minister Urged to Commit to Japan’s Ivory Market Closure
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Washington, DC and Tokyo, Japan – Before the 19th meeting of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Nov 14-25, non-government organizations are appealing to Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for Japan’s commitment to closing its ivory market to protect elephants from the threat of ivory trade. The letter states: “While Africa seems far away, Japan can play a role by closing its legal domestic market for elephant ivory. We urge you to commit to the closure of Japan’s domestic ivory market to send a signal to the global community that Japan is ready to join other countries and take a significant step to protect Africa’s elephants from being killed…

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REPORT: Ripe for Abuse: Japan’s ivory market
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Domestic ivory markets are on the agenda at CITES CoP19, and EIA and JTEF have released a short briefing focused on Japan’s domestic market, the most significant open market today. This report is prepared for briefing the facts and our views to the delegates to CoP19. Japan must recognize that any open ivory market contributes to illegal trade and poaching and must do its part to protect elephants by closing its domestic ivory market. CITES Parties must take decisive action at CoP19 to urge Japan to close its market.

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REPORT: Smugglers’ Source: Japan’s Legal Ivory Market – An Analysis of Chinese Court Decisions of Ivory Illegally Exported from Japan
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TOKYO (November 1, 2022)— Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund released today a report: “Smugglers’ Source: Japan’s Legal Ivory Market –An Analysis of Chinese Court Decisions of Ivory Illegally Exported from Japan”. Thousands of elephants are killed every year to supply the trade in their ivory tusks. While international commercial trade in ivory has been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and many Parties have taken steps to close their markets*, Japan’s domestic ivory market remains open, supported by the world’s largest ivory stockpile**. Legal domestic ivory markets threaten the effectiveness of the international ban on commercial ivory trade and undermine the efforts of Parties that have closed their ivory markets.…

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PRESS RELEASE: 27 international NGOs sent a letter to the Tokyo Governor, urging prompt consideration of an ordinance for closing Tokyo’s ivory market in accordance with the recommendation by Tokyo’s expert panel
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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s (TMG) designated Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade issued the final recommendations after seven meetings and more than two years of discussions and deliberations. 27 international NGOs sent a letter to the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike to thank for her efforts so far and urge her to implement the recommendations expeditiously. . In particular, the third recommendation has the most potential for impact and deserves the most attention: “[…] Ivory trade is regulated by legal frameworks in major countries around the world as well, and it is permitted with the limited exception of art and such items. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government should consider legal or other effective means to ensure that the ivory trade does…

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