Published 10th October 2010
Tokyo, Japan, 12 October 2010 - TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, has released a report analysing the status of Japan’s trade in wild animal and plant species entitled The State of Wildlife Trade in Japan, to coincide with the holding of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP10) in Nagoya, Japan.
Akiko Ishihara, Kahoru Kanari, Tsugumi Saito, Soyo Takahashi
Japan is one of the world’s largest importers of wildlife and thus benefits greatly from global biodiversity. Japan’s long history of trade in ivory, fragrant agarwood and other wildlife products from around the world is on show in the Shoso-in imperial treasure repository in Nara, where centuries-old cultural relics are displayed.
Now, in the 21st century, the connectivity between foreign-sourced wildlife products and Japanese consumers can easily be seen in the fishery products that dominate Japanese cuisine, the timber used in constructing homes and furniture, the medicinal plants relied on to support human health, the exotic pet trade and the ivory hanko (seals) in use in daily Japanese life.
The State of Wildlife Trade in Japan analyses the significance of Japan’s trade in wild animal and plant species and their products (see figures for live tortoises and caviar imports), reviews this trade in the light of national and international regulations and provides critical insights into the nature of Japan’s impact on global biodiversity.
It provides, among other things, explanations of the current trends in topical issues involving Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, and the often-illegal trade in reptiles as pets, while highlighting the importance of sustainable use of medicinal plants, an issue closely related to the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
I hope that this report released on the occasion of Japan’s hosting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP10) will help deepen understanding of Japan’s use of a wide range of wildlife products
Akiko Ishihara, TRAFFIC’s Senior Representative in Japan, and a co- author of the report
“We hope this knowledge will encourage the Japanese government, private sector, and the general public to think about what we can do as a nation, and as individuals, to make choices that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.”
During the holding of CBD CoP10, TRAFFIC will conduct seminars on sustainable use of medicinal plants and the FairWild Standard, also a subject of the report: for further details, access http://www.trafficj.org.
CITES-listed import transactions were recorded in 2007
imports in 2007 were valued at USD 5.67 million
is the third largest importer in the world for wood products
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