32 international environmental organisations have appealed to the world’s largest internet ivory seller – Yahoo! Japan, and its major Shareholder SoftBank, to halt all elephant ivory sales on Yahoo! Japan’s internet sites.
A recent investigation revealed that 93% of 6,000 advertisements on Yahoo! Japan on a single day in 2015 were for ivory name seals.
More than 30,000 elephants are being killed each year to feed a demand for ivory trinkets. To combat this crisis , major ivory markets including the United States, China, and Hong Kong have committed to taking steps to ban domestic ivory trade. Internet retailers Google, Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba have already banned ivory sales on their platforms.
Given the inherent weaknesses of Japanese law, where trade in ivory products is legal and the absence of government oversight over the ivory trade, these organisations are saying that it’s time for Yahoo! Japan to be socially responsible and end its sales of elephant ivory altogether.
SoftBank, with its 43% share of Yahoo! Japan, is uniquely positioned to ensure that the search engine acts in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and bans the advertisement and sale of all elephant products.
Francis Garrard, Director of the Conservation Action Trust said, “The unregulated legal trade of ivory products in Japan facilitates the laundering of illegal ivory and contributes to the slaughter of elephants. It is unconscionable that Yahoo! Japan continues to allow the sale of ivory of dubious origins”.