The trade is a profitable business for Yahoo: according to the EIA’s figures, sales of ivory products generated revenues of more than $27 million between 2005 and 2014.
The EIA study also confirms that Japan’s failure to implement an effective registration system has led to the large-scale laundering of illegal ivory. The country has thus become a hub for ivory trafficking from Africa to China, and Yahoo Japan is a key player in that market.
Animal rights activists are calling on the Japanese government to follow the lead of China and the United States in working toward a complete ban of the ivory trade.
Yahoo Japan defended its policy to the Associated Press by saying that while it permits the sale of legal items, it “patrols 24 hours a day” to catch illegal listings.
A Yahoo spokesperson told the Guardian that the US corporation only holds a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan and does not have any control over the subsidiary’s business activity – an implausible excuse.