SoftBank Refuses To Stop Selling Elephant, Dolphin And Whale Products On Yahoo! Japan

   SoftBank Refuses To Stop Selling Elephant, Dolphin And Whale Products On
                                 Yahoo! Japan

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2013

Campaigners call on SoftBank CEO to help end elephant and whale slaughter

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wildlife advocates
expressed bitter disappointment today at the refusal of international
conglomerate, SoftBank Corp. to ban advertisements for elephant ivory and
whale and dolphin products on Yahoo! Japan – the dominant company in
SoftBank's internet division with revenues of nearly USD 4 billion in 2012.

The announcement follows a letter sent in June by the Environmental
Investigation Agency (EIA) and Humane Society International (HSI) to
SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son. EIA and HSI appealed to him to direct Yahoo!
Japan to join all other Yahoo! websites worldwide in banning the sale of these

EIA and HSI have yet to receive a response from the Japanese
telecommunications and internet corporation giant, which recently concluded a
USD 21.6 billion takeover of US cell phone carrier Sprint Nextel Corporation.

"SoftBank has a responsibility to millions of US Sprint customers who will be
shocked to discover that SoftBank is profiting from the slaughter of
elephants, whales and dolphins," said Allan Thornton, President of the
Environmental Investigation Agency. "SoftBank must direct Yahoo! Japan to
prohibit all such ads immediately to help protect Africa's elephants and the
world's threatened whale and dolphin populations."

"Tens of thousands of elephants, whales and dolphins are being killed each
year to supply demand for their parts," said Kitty Block, Vice President of
Humane Society International. "We urge SoftBank to end their role in this
cruel and unnecessary slaughter."

Today Yahoo! Japan lists almost 8,000 ads for elephant ivory, which have
tripled in number since March after Amazon and Google enforced a ban and
removed all ads for elephant ivory and whale products from their Japanese
shopping sites.

Around 80 percent of the Yahoo! Japan ivory ads are for hanko (name seals used
to sign official documents), many of which are thought to derive from illicit
ivory tusks smuggled into Japan from Africa. Yahoo! Japan also sells hundreds
of whale products including internationally protected species such as fin
whales illegally killed in Iceland, minke whales killed in the Antarctic whale
sanctuary as well as Bryde's, sei and sperm whales killed in the Northwest
Pacific. Other ads feature products from whales brutally killed in the town of
Taiji in southern Japan, made infamous by the Oscar-winning documentary "The

"We are mindful of SoftBank's current efforts to expand its reach
internationally. As you expand, however, so too does your international
constituency and your need to address broader social responsibility," stated
the letter. "We hope that SoftBank Corp.'s direct contact with Yahoo! Japan
will yield positive results when all the facts concerning endangered elephants
and threatened whales and dolphins are presented and considered."


- It's estimated that 30,000 elephants were killed across Africa last year.

- Some 456,000 dolphins, porpoises and small whales have been killed around
the coast of Japan over the past 25 years. The hunted populations include
rare, endangered and declining species and populations. Many dolphins have
high levels of mercury contamination, which dramatically exceed Government of
Japan limits for seafood for human consumption.

Jessica Forres, press and communication relations manager, 202-716-8320,

SOURCE Environmental Investigation Agency

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