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Japan's ivory registrations surged ahead of July rules change

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In 1990, international ivory trading was banned in principle

What’s this ‘in principle’ crap? It was banned completely! I guess that is just the Japanese translation of the law.

Japan’s reputation for abiding by international conservation laws is quite despicable.

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Having met many antiques dealers in Japan, my impression is that they are generally allergic to it, well aware of the problems surrounding ivory, or should I say, they know that records must be kept and there is no serious money to be made in dealing with it. Difficult to move on. That is not to say that there is not nefarious stuff going on behind the scenes, though. The legal situation is not as absolute as in the United States since Obama, obviously, perhaps being more on a par with Europe. I have been offered pieces surreptitiously, by dealers hoping that I might be Russian or something, probably wanting to clear their decks without taking too hard a hit.

To suggest that ivory sales are still totally lax and free would be quite wrong, despite the odd stall in the corner of some antiques market in Tokyo for example. The police would not come down publicly and heavily on some small shop as they have done in the States, but in general folks have got the message.

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