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Thursday, August 08, 2019, 14:00 - 15:00


John Baker, Chief Program Officer of WildAid

Airi Yamawaki, Director, Co-founder of Tears of the African Elephant, Director of WildAid Japan

Masayuki Sakamoto, Lawyer/ Executive Director of Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund

Hideyuki Miura, Journalist/ Nonfiction writer

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English and Japanese with simultaneous interpretation.

Japan's domestic ivory market is now the largest in the world and conservationists say it fuels the poaching of an estimated 20,000 elephants a year.

Conservationists are calling on Tokyo Governor Koike to ban the sale of ivory in Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Olympics. The city is home to a significant proportion of Japan's 17,000 registered ivory manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. With an estimated 10 million tourists expected to visit Tokyo during the games, conservationists say the market could expand and visitors might unknowingly buy and illegally export ivory souvenirs.

In July, Japan enacted a new rule that says sellers must prove the age of whole elephant tusks through carbon dating to ensure that illegal tusks acquired after 1990, when international ivory trade was banned, don't enter the Japanese market. But activists say that does not go far enough.

Representatives from WildAid and Tears of the African Elephant will come to the FCCJ to discuss a new campaign they launched to curb the ivory market in Japan. They have enlisted such celebrity spokespeople as Prince William, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jackie Chan.

Doors open for TV crew only at 13:15, all others at 13:30. Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. Livestreaming of press conferences are available on our website (

*Due to space restrictions, please note there will be a limited number of reservations to attend. FCCJ members, including TV cameras, will have priority for the reservation and seating/setting positions and one TV camera for affiliate networks.

Professional Activities Committee


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