Regulations on ivory trade in Japan
- International trade in ivory and ivory products is restricted by the Washington Convention and prohibited in principle by the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law from bringing into or taking out of Japan.
- In Japan, trading of ivory products is prohibited in principle by the Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. However, as an exception, transactions are possible in the case of obtaining ivory products from businesses that have been registered as Special International Species Business Operators, and in the case of exchanging whole tusks that have been registered in advance with the registration slip attached.
- As for the registered businesses, due to the amendment of the Law (enforced in June 2018), registration has been renewed by the end of May this year, and domestic transactions are being conducted under stricter control.
Efforts by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
- In response to international concerns about Japan's ivory trade, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has set up the " Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade (*)" to study how ivory trading should be conducted in Tokyo.
- The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, as the host city of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has decided to implement measures to prevent the illegal transportation of ivory products overseas by cooperating with the national government and taking into consideration the opinions of the expert panel.
In order to thoroughly prevent the sale of ivory products that may be taken overseas, we are requiring the following points from registered businesses in Tokyo.
- Make it known at the sales counter that "taking the product overseas is prohibited in principle."
- Confirm with prospective purchasers that they intend "not to take the product overseas."
- Refrain from selling when the product may be taken overseas, such as when the prospective purchaser is a foreigner visiting Japan.
In cooperation with the national government (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of the Environment; Customs, etc.), we are trying to spread and enlighten people both in Japan and overseas in order to make it thoroughly known that "illegally taking ivory products, etc. out of Japan to overseas is not allowed."
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government "Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade"
- In January 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government set up the "Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade" in response to international concerns about ivory trading in Japan.
- To date, a total of four expert committee meetings have been held, and while listening to opinions from a variety of standpoints, we have analyzed the current situation and issues surrounding ivory trading and discussed the direction of measures that Tokyo should take.
- Based on our efforts to "Prevent Ivory Products From Being Taken Overseas", we will continue to examine ivory trading to make it more appropriate.