Body of Hope, an elephant poached in Kenya

Action alert: Tell Rakuten to end elephant ivory sales

Internet retail giant Rakuten did the right thing last week by banning ads for whales and dolphin products shortly after the release of our report, albeit seeking to save face by claiming the move was due to the unrelated UN court ruling against fraudulent Japanese ‘scientific’ whaling in the Antarctic.

But the company is still carrying ads for elephant ivory products, many originating from illegal ivory poached in Africa, and we need your renewed help to urge it to stop.

Here are four easy but important ways in which you can play a vital role in telling Rakuten and its co-founder/CEO Hiroshi Mikitani that profiting from the slaughter of elephants is unacceptable:

1. Share our campaign poster

EIA has produced this poster in the style of Rakuten’s own advertising to spread awareness of the company’s sales of elephant ivory products.

Rakuten elephant ad

Click on it to be taken to a downloadable, hi-res version. Please share it widely and embed it in online platforms such as Facebook and Google+.

Rakuten recently became a major investor in the successful photo-sharing site Pinterest, so it would be especially effective to share the image there.

2. Send a Tweet

If you are a Twitter user, send a Tweet to Rakuten calling on it to ban all sales of elephant ivory products. You can compose your own, or use the sample Tweets below.

• To’s official Twitter account:
@rakutenshopping: Please stop selling #elephant #ivory #NoRakutenBloodMoney

• To Rakuten Japan:
@RakutenJP: 象牙の販売を停止してください #NoRakutenBloodMoney

• To Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani’s English language account:
@hmikitani_e: Please stop selling #elephant #ivory #NoRakutenBloodMoney

To Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani’s Japanese language account:
@hmikitani: 象牙の販売を停止してください #NoRakutenBloodMoney

You can follow EIA’s Twitter account @EIAinvestigator and reTweet our messages about this issue.

3. Send an email

Let Rakuten know how unacceptable it is to be making money from the slaughter of elephants by sending an email to CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.

You can compose your own message, or use/adapt the sample email below, sent for the attention of Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.

As with many major online entities, Rakuten appears reluctant to share direct email addresses; you can send your email via an on-screen form at


To Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO Rakuten

I was delighted to learn of your company’s decision to end all sales of whale and dolphin products following the revelations in the Environmental Investigation Agency report Blood e-Commerce ( that Rakuten profits from sales of the products of protected and endangered species.

This was a bold and enlightened step which reflects well on the international standing and image of your company, and which indicates your respect for the concerns of your customers around the world.

However, I am deeply concerned that your company continues to sell elephant ivory products and so profits from this cruel and destructive trade, and I respectfully request that the entire Rakuten family of companies immediately and permanently bans all such products.

Rakuten is a fast-growing, influential and apparently progressive international brand name and as such I would hope to find it shares my view that it is wholly improper for it to continue to sell products which are driving a protected and iconic species closer to extinction and which fuels corruption and criminality.

The failure of Japan to properly manage its domestic ivory trade means a substantial proportion of all ivory in circulation derives from elephants which have been poached and whose ivory has been trafficked by international criminals.

Please demonstrate that you and Rakuten genuinely care by banning the sale of all elephant ivory products, now and forever.


((Your name here))

4. Post a comment of protest on Rakuten’s Facebook & Google+ pages

If you use Facebook, you can find Rakuten’s main pages at & If unable to start a new thread, you can post your protest as a comment in an existing one.

On Google+, it’s at

Visit the pages and post a message to register your protest – you could adapt the above messages, or compose one of your own.

Please circulate this action alert to everybody you know and encourage them to help – the more people who protest to Rakuten, the more the company is likely to respond in a positive and responsible way.

Thank-you for your help and action!