crime

Seizures of ivory smuggled from Japan increase in China

14 Comments

An increasing number of elephant ivory products illegally trafficked from Japan have been seized in China, following Beijing's closure of the domestic market in 2017, recent research by a U.S. conservation group showed.

At least 23 cases of seizures in China were reported in the first half of this year, compared with four in the whole of 2018, according to the Environmental Investigation Agency.

The EIA has pointed out that Japan may have become a new supplier of ivory products to China due to Tokyo's lax regulation measures and criticized it for hindering international efforts to eradicate unlawful transactions.

China, along with the United States, France and Singapore, has banned the domestic ivory trade, but Japan has maintained trading within the country, saying it is unrelated to poaching. Tokyo is often criticized as a hotbed of ivory trade from poached African elephants.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics approaching, Japan could face more international pressure to prevent foreign visitors or athletes coming to the country for the games from illegally taking abroad ivory goods.

The EIA research revealed that ivory items weighing 18 kilograms in total were found in 13 postal parcels sent from Japan to Guangzhou in southern China in January.

In May, a Chinese passenger was caught with 80 ivory items upon arrival at an airport from Japan. The items were believed to have been taken into China for sale, according to the group.

The finding by the conservation group may affect discussions at an ongoing meeting of signatories to the Washington Convention in Geneva through Aug 28. A resolution has been moved in the gathering to urge all countries to close their domestic ivory markets.

In 1990, international ivory trading was banned in principle under the Washington Convention, officially called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

In 2016, Washington Convention members adopted a resolution calling on each government to shut down their domestic markets in case they are "contributing to poaching or illegal trade."

But Japan decided to keep its internal ivory trade, claiming its domestic market has been strictly controlled.

However, undercover EIA research carried out last year in Japan found more than half of about 300 ivory goods stores, which handle such items as seals, expressed their intention to sell them to clients, even if they would likely take the pieces abroad illegally.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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Just another example of Japan thumbing it's nose to the world!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

In 1990, international ivory trading was banned in principle under the Washington Convention,

What's this 'in principle' crap? It was banned outright! I guess that is just the Japanese interpretation of the ruling.

Once again we see Japan in the center of an environmental conservation issue which they have defiantly chosen to ignore.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Seems Nippon likes 'Ebony whale and Ivory?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Shame on Japan. Nothing else can be said.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

but Japan has maintained trading within the country, saying it is unrelated to poaching.

Excuse me how do you think that the Ivory that got inside of Japan was obtained in the first place ?

There are some real unscrupulous politicians that make money of this trade somehow, there can be no other explanation for this travesty.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Excuse me how do you think that the Ivory that got inside of Japan was obtained in the first place ?

Imported prior to the ban. When Japan joined the Washington Treaty in 1981 and the actual ban on 1990, Japan imported 2006 tons. This is recorded in CITES trade data base.

Two more special import permits were granted by Washington Treaty Conference totaling 89 tons.

https://www.env.go.jp/nature/kisho/zougetorihiki/FAQ_on_ElephantIvory_JP.pdf

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@nigelboy

That is difficult to verify. You can carbon test ivory to determine when it was taken...from the elephant, but that does not tell you when it was registered / traded.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That is difficult to verify. You can carbon test ivory to determine when it was taken...from the elephant, but that does not tell you when it was registered / traded.

True. But using common sense and logic, you can’t possibly import hundreds of metric tons per year using a suit case. And since they aren’t perishable items, it’s safe to conclude that whatever outstanding inventory in Japan came from legal importation from above dates,

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Another two finger salute to the world. Nice one Japan... I was going to say unbelievable, but nothing surprises me about Japan's attitude towards wild animals any more.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Imported prior to the ban.

No I mean the ivory was taken from the animal at least partially by poachers, a truly horrific act, so the statement from the Japanese government that the ivory trade in Japan has nothing to do with poaching makes no sense at all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The world should boycott Japanese Olympics in protest at tbe ivory trade and whale trade

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not hundreds of tons but several kilograms.

This tells me that there is no market in Japan where ivory can be bought up cheaply, and sold where there is a market, i.e. in China.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Not hundreds of tons but several kilograms.

Yes. Illegally exported from Japan to China. What was asked before was how Japan was able to obtain such inventory in the first place and I answered that.

Let me guess, Japan is the victim here according to some, like nigelboy.

No. It's simply responding to questions which some people are too lazy to find out but choose to respond in a typical uninformed manner. For instance,

"In 1990, international ivory trading was banned in principle under the Washington Convention,"

What's this 'in principle' crap? It was banned outright! I guess that is just the Japanese interpretation of the ruling.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How disgusting of Japan to commit such shameful act. I wonder why the local animal activists here are not addressing the issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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