News and Resources

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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REPORT: 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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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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