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Japan's ivory trade fuels illegal exports to China, Africa says

Illicit shipments continue to drive elephant poaching

TOKYO -- Japan is facing growing criticism over its domestic trade in ivory, which African nations and environmental groups say encourages illegal exports and poaching of African elephants.

Signatories to the Washington Convention, which regulates international trade in wild animals, gathered in Geneva in late August. There, nine African countries, including Kenya and Nigeria, submitted a resolution calling on Japan and others to ban domestic ivory transactions.

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