The Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade concluded on 29 March 2022 and compiled a report.
Then, in October 2022, before the 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19), the TMG sent a letter to the national government “Re: Action on Tokyo’s Ivory Trade”. The letter requested stricter ivory trade management due to concerns about ivory being taken out of the country as a result of the increase in the number of people entering the country in the future.
However, despite incidents of ivory illegally exported from Japan being seized in China, the Japanese Government did not change its assertion at the Conference of the Parties held in November that ivory trade controls are sufficient and that the domestic ivory market is not contributing to illegal trade.
Therefore, NGOs from around the world, including JWCS, again requested that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government accept the advice of the Advisory Council on Regulation of Ivory Trade and pass an ordinance in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to close the ivory market in Tokyo, with only narrow exceptions (The letter ).
Domestic ivory markets have been closing down around the world, making Japan the country with the largest legal ivory market. Poaching of elephants for ivory will not stop as long as there is a prospect of ivory sales. Therefore, the message “No more ivory can be sold in Tokyo” by the enactment of the ordinance is of great international significance.