Vivisection Association (JAVA) and The Body Shop Tokyo to meet with Norihisa Tamura, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to present the petition and make their feelings on animal testing in the country known.
For this campaign the organization has teamed up with L’Oreal-owned The Body Shop, by serving up a petition containing over one million signatures from customers and supporters worldwide to Congresswoman Jan Schaskowsky, who has proved a leading legislator in US cosmetics regulation.
Discussions centered on Japan's increasing isolation on the issue
In the discussions, Cruelty Free International's Dr. Nick Palmer, who is director of regulations, made the point with the Japanese minister that the country was now looking increasingly isolated on the point of animal testing on cosmetics.
Tamura stated that he could see the importance of pushing this issue in the Japanese parliament, but also pointed out that there remained certain regulatory stumbling blocks to be negotiated before anything concrete can be achieved.
"The meeting was an important step. Up to now, Japan has not engaged with us on the issue so we very much welcome Mr Tamura acceptance that the problem needs to be tackled. We look forward to a constructive dialogue on the way forward,’ stated Dr. Palmer.
Meanwhile, the campaign is also stepped up in the US
The campaign in Japan coincides with efforts to also put pressure on US lawmakers to change regulations concerning animal testing, a campaign that also included The Body Shop.
“We are in Washington DC this week to appeal to the United States Government to listen to the collective voice of one million people and start putting plans in place to end these experiments and prevent further unnecessary suffering for thousands of animals,” said Cruelty Free International Chief Executive, Michelle Thew.
“The European Union ban on animal tested cosmetics was widely celebrated in March 2013 and now it is time for the rest of the world to take action and end all animal tests for cosmetic products and their ingredients.”
Peitition signatures come from 65 countries worldwide
The petition signatures for the campaigns in both countries were gathered from The Body Shop stores in 65 countries worldwide, which include some of the world’s biggest cosmetic markets by value.
According to the organization, the petition has proved to be the largest of its kind to seek a global ban on the use of animals to test cosmetics.
The organization has been ramping up its campaign to target other markets worldwide in recent years, which most recently has culminated in total bans in the European Union, India and Israel, together with reviews on legislation in China.
Campaign's focus now switches to the US
According to the organization the focus is now switching to the US and Japan markets because they are part of a shrinking number of countries worldwide that still allow animals tests on cosmetic products.
The Body Shop has lent its name to the campaign on the grounds that it was one of the first cosmetics companies to campaign against the animal testing. Its campaign started in the UK, ensuring it was one of the world’s first markets to take action against such testing.
“Our experience shows that it is possible and safe to create cosmetics without animal testing and we encourage governments to support a worldwide ban on such unnecessary testing methods," said Phyll Arrington, director brand & values for The Body Shop U.S. & Mexico.