How Ivory Hanko Destroyed Africa’s Elephants and Drives Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade


Japan’s demand for hanko made of elephant ivory is a modern phenomenon driven by the country’s ivory industry. Hanko is the Japanese term for the cylindrical name stamps used commonly throughout Japanese society to conduct many types of personal and professional business, much like handwritten signatures are used in the west. Today, Japan is the world’s largest legal domestic ivory market and ivory hanko account for 80 percent of Japan’s ivory consumption.

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