Animal rights in Japan

Japan often get attention from the world media regarding whaling relating matter. The most famously the controversial documentary called “The Cove”; The documentary is about traditional whaling that is still happening in Taiji, Wakayama, Japan. (This film led many animal rights activists to do demonstrations in front of Japanese embassies all over the world.) Japanese animal rights is unknown to even Japanese people; thus it is a great topic to look into.

Animal right history in Japan

As many readers have been aware of the history of Japan, it is not difficult to believe that Japanese people used to follow plant-based diet due to Buddissm. After Buddhism came to Japan in the 6th century, Japanese people consumed a little fish and wild animals. Then Christianity came to Japan, and animal-based diet came back momentarily. However, during Samurai Shogun time, killing animals was forbidden again in general. Then after the democracy was introduced and the western idea was reintroduced, meat eating also came back.

Modern day Japan, meat is becoming the main source of protein. Nowaday, Japanese animal rights have been known as one of the least respected animal laws in the world. Japanese companies are still conducting animal testing as well as the use of animals as entertainment such as shows in aquariums and circus; often Euriopan countires think that this is out-dated things to do.

Animal welfare and rights in Japan

The 1973 Act on Welfare and Management of Animals was passed; it was constantly revised and the most recent revision was made in 2019. The new law includes mandatory of GPS microchip for domestic pet animals such as cats and dogs. The new restriction of selling kittens and puppies under 56 days old. The penalty fee and prison time for unlawful killing of animals were risen significantly. This new rules would become effective within 3 years. However, this law has been criticized from other western countries due to its low protection against animals in general.

The Japan Animal Welfare Society Ltd

This animal protection charity was found in the UK to ensure pioneering animal welfare activities in Japan.Their main focus would be domestic animals in Japan. They are working to prevent animal cruelty. The charity would  people to encourage their pets to have neutering operations. They give out information about how to evacuate with your domestic pet in case of natural disasters which is also the prevention of stray animals. They also work on stopping animal fighting for lesureture propose.


There are more charity organizations that are actively working on animal protection and welfare in Japan. Japanese people usually adore their pets. However, compared to some other developed countries, Japan is behind in some ways. Moreover, the majority of Japanese people are not really aware of this negative attention from the world regarding this matter. Since the world’s mentality is changing so rapidly towards animal rights, Japanese people might need to change their mind step by step, so they can go back in time to respect animals.


Related links:
Japanese beauty standards
Japan’s fascination with blood types
Kosher food in Japan
Enjoying hot springs in Japan
The cheapest accommodation in Japan: Jiko Bukken
Making the most out of night life in Japan


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