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The CITES Secretariat has carried out several visits to Japan to ascertain its suitability as a recipient of stockpiled ivory to ensure that adequate controls are in place to avoid the ivory being re-exported.
At the 54th Standing Committee meeting in October 2006, the Secretariat considered that Japan fulfilled the conditions to become a trading partner. However, based on concerns felt by several countries, including the UK, it was agreed that the CITES Secretariat would provide an update on the measures Japan has and is putting in place. This will be reviewed at the 55th Committee meeting immediately prior to the Conference of the Parties in June.
The UK will consider that update carefully, and will only support trading nation status if we are sure that the necessary conditions have and continue to be met.