Four years have passed since the World Dog Alliance began promoting a ban on the consumption of dogs and cats in the Japanese Diet. We have gained the support of many Diet Members so far, including the establishment of the Diet Members League for Animal Welfare, a bipartisan group that will lead the effort to legislate a ban on the consumption of dogs and cats. Some of those who have been elected to date have been unsuccessful.
In 2022, former House of Representatives member Seiichi Kushida, who returned to the Diet as a member of the House of Councillors, calling only for animal protection and a ban on dog and cat meat consumption, actively participated in a dog meat ban demonstration organized by the private animal protection group.
Let’s review Mr. Kushida’s activities to ban the consumption of dogs and cats in the Diet during his time in the House of Representatives.
November 26, 2019, Special Committee on Consumer Affairs
He asked the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to confirm the reality of Japan’s importation of dog meat, the fact that there are restaurants in Japan that serve dog meat, the situation when imported dog meat are turned into meat, and the countries that have laws prohibiting dog meat consumption, and asked for their views.
“Dog meat is a type 1 of meat, and we believe that meat safety can be ensured by eating meat that has been thoroughly cooked well in compliance with the Food Sanitation Law.”
Consumer Affairs Bureau:
“This is the first time I have heard of dog meat being imported and eaten in Japan. If we are going to stop eating dog meat here, I think it would be difficult to regulate it unless Japan makes a law prohibiting the eating of dog meat.”
February 25, 2020, Budget Committee’s subcommittee
Minister of the Environment Shinjiro Koizumi:
“I was surprised when I first heard about eating dog meat, as you pointed out, and I have no desire to eat it myself.” He also stated that the Ministry of the Environment does not have jurisdiction over the consumption of dog meat.
April 2, 2020, Special Committee on Consumer Affairs
Regarding the lack of jurisdiction to prohibit the consumption of dogs and cats, Mr. Kushida stressed the need for all relevant ministries to work together to move forward to amend the law to prohibit the consumption of dogs and cats.
November 11, 2020, Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:
“We understand that under the Food Sanitation Law, as long as the safety of the product is ensured, it can be distributed and sold in Japan.”
Mr. Kushida added that there are many people in Japan who are unaware of the fact that dog meat is eaten in Japan, but “If we are not allowed to abuse dogs and cats in Japan, we must not abuse our own dogs and cats either, and of course, we must not eat them. Despite the fact that there is a law against abusing-killing and eating dogs in Japan, it is not legally acceptable to eat a dog killed in a foreign country.”
He also expressed his resolution for 2023.
“Now that I have returned to the Diet as a member specializing in animal welfare, I would like to promote the discussion of the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats as well as the domestic ban on the eating of dogs and cats.”
Let’s make some big waves in Japan’s Parliament!