Tokyo    - Yahoo Japan said Wednesday it will end the trade of ivory on all its websites from November, after pressure from conservationists. The decision follows the internet company’s marketplace rivals Rakuten and Mercari adopting a ban in 2017, responding to international concerns that the Japanese domestic market could fuel smuggling through poor law enforcement. A 1989 ban prohibits international ivory trading but the domestic ivory business remains legal in Japan, with the majority of items sold either from registered stockpiles or predating the ban.

However, some traders in the country have been suspected of dodging the rules.

Yahoo Japan said it made the decision after it confirmed that ivory traded on its auction site -- which is among the most popular in the country -- was “smuggled abroad and detected by foreign customs authorities”.