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Press Release

Enforcement of Invasive Alien Species Act

May 31, 2005

The Invasive Alien Species Act (IAS Act) shall be enforced from June 1, 2005. In order to publicize the IAS Act and for the proper enforcement of it, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) shall appoint "the IAS damage preventive officer" among its staff in the main office and 11 regional nature conservation offices based on Article 26 of the IAS Act. To inform the enforcement of the IAS Act, awareness raising activities including distribution of fliers to tourists in Narita International Airport shall take place starting from 11:00 AM on June 1.

<Enforcement of IAS Act>

1.Control based on the IAS Act

(1)Prohibition of breeding and raising, planting, storing, and carrying (hereinafter referred to as "the raising") of IAS in Japan
The raising is authorized only if the competent ministers have granted permission. The permission is granted only when the raising is for scientific research, exhibition, education, and maintenance of livelihood, and when a raising facility which meets the conditions for prevention of escape of IAS (hereinafter referred to as "the special raising facility") is available. No permission shall be granted for raising IAS as pets or for ornamental purposes. However, the individual IAS that has already been raised shall be eligible for permission for the continued raising. There is six month moratorium on permit application after the enforcement.

(2)Prohibition of importing IAS
If permission for the raising is granted prior to import, import of IAS is permitted.

(3)Prohibition of transferring IAS
Transfer is permitted if it is conducted between persons granted permissions for raising.

(4)Prohibition of releasing IAS
Releasing IAS outside the special raising facility is strictly prohibited, without any exception.

(5)Import control of uncategorized alien species
Import of an uncategorized alien species (hereinafter referred to as "the UAS") is banned. Those wishing to import the UAS must notify the competent ministers in advance so that the UAS in question shall be judged if it falls under the category of IAS by the competent ministers. The judgment period is up to six months and the import is prohibited until the decision is informed.

(6)Attachment of certificate of species
When importing alien species which are not easily distinguished from the UASs or the IASs which are banned from import, it is necessary to attach certificates issued by foreign government agencies, etc. to prove the species of the organisms.

2.IAS Control

(1) The content of IAS control shall be notified by the national government upon hearing the opinions from concerned local governments.

(2) If IAS control is to be conducted by any party other than the national government, obtaining confirmation or acknowledgement by the competent ministers enables smooth operation of control.

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