Demand that Yahoo! Japan Stop Selling Endangered Animal Parts

Target: SoftBank CEO Mr. Masayoshi Son

Goal: Stop Yahoo! Japan from profiting off dead elephants, whales, and dolphins

SoftBank, the majority shareholder of Yahoo! Japan, advertises links to endangered animal products and parts. Despite a worldwide ban on ivory, there remain over 8,000 separate advertisements on Yahoo! Japan for illegal ivory products. Also advertised are dolphin and whale parts smuggled from as far as the Antarctic.

Yahoo! Japan receives payment from the animal trade every time someone clicks on one of their links. Dolphin teeth, whale fins, and ivory stamp-seals are all advertised despite being illegal internationally. African elephants, whose tusks are used to make official letter seals, are considered a vulnerable species. Sei and Sperm whales, though endangered, still fall victim to the finning industry in the Northwest Pacific. Minke whales, fin whales, and dolphins are other examples of endangered species advertised on Yahoo! Japan.

These animals’ classifications mean that they are facing dwindling numbers and possible extinction in the wild. Illegal animal traders are estimated to slaughter tens of thousands of vulnerable and endangered animals per year. These numbers are simply not sustainable, and contribute to a more rapid decline of species.

Online retailers such as Ebay and Amazon have already refused to advertise ivory and other illegal animal products. SoftBank, who just purchased US phone giant Sprint, should now be showing a greater level of social accountability in the international community. As the major shareholder, they have the influence and direct contact necessary to end Yahoo! Japan’s connections with smuggling websites. Your signature will demand that SoftBank end their role in supporting the illegal slaughter of animals.


Dear SoftBank CEO  Mr. Masayoshi Son,

Yahoo! Japan profits from advertising illegal animal products from whales, dolphins, and elephants. Many of these animals are considered endangered species and the sale of their parts is internationally illegal. Yahoo! Japan still promotes the purchase and sale of these items, therefore playing a role in the smuggling of endangered animal products.

Endangered species are classified as such due to their low population numbers. The illegal animal trade contributes to the slaughter of tens of thousands of these animals annually, which is quickly pushing these species further down the perilous path to extinction.

As international investors, you have a responsibility to the international community to be socially accountable. Supporting and profiting from the illegal animal trade is not acceptable. I ask that you make use of your considerable influence with Yahoo! Japan by discontinuing any advertisements for products made from endangered animals.


[Your Name Here]

 Photo credit: Creative Commons via Satyendra Kumar

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