The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

December 6, 2017

1. About CITES

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement whose aim is to ensure, through regulations, that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

2. Japan's Contribution

(1) Basic Policy

Japan's basic policy on the protection of wildlife includes taking appropriate measures based on "sustainable use of natural resources." This is a principle which balances the exploitation and use of wildlife resources, and conservation of the environment and biodiversity.

(2) Activities

Since becoming a Party of CITES in 1980, Japan has participated in various meetings under CITES. In particular, Japan hosted COP8 in 1992 in Kyoto and has been elected as a member of the Standing Committee four times (once as a host country of COP (1989-1994), three times as a Representative of Asia (1994-2000, 2004-2010 and 2010-end of COP17)). Ambassador Nobutoshi Akao chaired the Standing Committee from 1994 to 1997. Japan was elected as an alternate member of the Standing Committee of Asia beginning from the end of COP17 (2016) until the end of COP19.

(3) Assistance to the Convention

In addition to being the second largest contributor to the Convention among the Parties, Japan also has been making project-based voluntary contributions such as to the Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) project, developing identification manuals, assistance to COP, regional meetings in Asia, national legislation project as well as law enforcement programs. To support measures against poaching of African elephants and illegal trade in ivory, in October 2016, the Government of Japan contributed USD 60,000 via the CITES Secretariat for the establishment of a strategic anti-poaching operation center in Zimbabwe, under CITES’ Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme.

(4) Reservations

Currently Japan has reservations to ten species of whales listed in Appendix I based on the objective assessment that the stock of these species concerned are at a sustainable level. Nine species which are listed in Appendix II are also included in the reservations made by Japan due to insufficient scientific data to be judged as a threatened species.