Japan Surrenders in Hawksbill Turtle Debate

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Saturday, June 1, 1991
Sarah Barber
Bowin to the pressure from the Interior and Commerce Department, Japan announced on May 17, 1991 that it will halt all importation of hawksbill sea turtle shells.  The Interior and Commerce Department had formally identified Japan as a threat to the endangered species on March 20, 1991.  Certifying that a coutnry is violating international conservation treaties carries with it the threat of possible trade sanctions. UNder the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to which Japan is a signatory party, Japan has indicated that it would curtail or eliminate trade in certain endangered species, including turtles, whales, and some lizards. By renouncing formally its right to trade in hawksbill turtles, Japan has hadded them to the list of species which it recognizes as endangered.