After the internet retail giant Rakuten was exposed as the largest online purveyor of both endangered whale meat and ivory, the Japanese company has announced that it will no longer host transactions or ads involving whale meat. The announcement comes after an international court ruled that Antarctic Japanese whale hunts are unscientific, and ordered the country to cease whaling there.
A statement on Rakuten's website reads:
In accordance with the March 31, 2014 ruling by the International Court of Justice, Rakuten Ichiba today asked merchants to cancel sales of whale meat products on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace. Rakuten has also requested these merchants to remove all related items from their online shops within the next 30 days.
The company has major stakes in the websites Buy.com, Play.com, the e-book reader Kobo and is also a major shareholder in Pinterest.
The latest announcement also follows a report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Humane Society International that outed the wildlife trafficker, and incited outrage around the world.