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Japan Needs Tougher Laws to End Illegal Timber Imports, NGO Says

Japan, the world’s fourth-largest buyer of timber products, needs to introduce laws and stricter oversight to stamp out imports of illegally logged wood, said the Environmental Investigation Agency, a lobbyist group.

The country’s laws do not require private buyers of foreign timber to ensure it was legally logged nor do they provide for penalties for failing to do so, the Washington and London-based group said in a report today. This has led to illegally cut wood in Russia being exported to Japan via Chinese processing plants, the EIA said.