The cruelty-free lobby is out in force to convince Japan’s parliament to ban the sale of cosmetic products that have been tested on animals in the country with the international business community, as well as a local grass-roots campaign led by the Humane Society International, piling on the pressure.
Campaigners are hoping that the same mood of cooperation that saw Japanese officials promise to drop the onerous registration system for cosmetic imports will also persuade the government to follow in Europe’s footsteps with regards to animal testing. Indeed, the European Business Council, the body behind the hard-won victory, included a demand for validated alternatives to animal testing in its 2014 white paper, calling on Japan to honor its international commitment to animal welfare.
A ban would cause very little disruption to Japan’s largest cosmetics companies, many of which have already explored alternatives to animal testing to appeal to international markets where animal testing is prohibited.
“The reality is that Japan could pass a ban on cosmetics animal testing and the marketing of newly animal-tested cosmetics tomorrow,” Claire Mansfield, Be Cruelty-Free’s Director for Research and Toxicology told Japan Today. “Cruelty-free cosmetics companies operate very successfully in Japan, and Japanese brands are already complying with the animal-testing requirements. As with all countries, though, there’s both an educational process, and a legislative and regulatory process that will need to be seen through to the end.”