Hidehisa Otsuji, chairman of the Parliamentary League for Animal Welfare, along with 10 members of the league, submitted a request letter to Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide in The Prime Minister’s Official Residence, turning a historic page on animal welfare in Japan. The request letter also lays the groundwork for a joint initiative between the United States and Japan on the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats.
The request letter, co-signed by 34 supra-partisan members of the National Diet of Japan, stressed that, “the World Dog Alliance (WDA) , an international animal welfare organization, is promoting the establishment of the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats…this agreement will send a message to all countries that dogs and cats should not be eaten and that we must put a stop to such acts of barbarism.”
The WDA united 30 bipartisan U.S. Representatives to co-sign a letter to President Donald Trump, and 67 supra-partisan UK Members of Parliament to co-sign a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson respectively in February and March 2020, urging the two governments to initiate the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats. The latest letter in Japan demonstrates the reach of the campaign’s success in America, Europe and Asia.
Kenzo Fujisue, member of the Parliamentary League for Animal Welfare, is the main leading lawmaker of the request letter. During the meeting with Katsunobu Kato, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Mr. Fujisue explained the dog and cat meat situation on the domestic and international level, “There are over 100 dog meat restaurants in Japan. The United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China have all established a ban on dog and cat meat; a similar trend can also be seen in the United Kingdom. To not fall behind on the international scene, Japan should outlaw dog and cat meat and initiate the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats.” If Japan bans the consumption of dog and cat meat before hosting the Olympics in 2021, the country’s international image would be improved extensively.
After the meeting, Mr. Fujisue filmed a clip to share the news with Genlin, the founder of the WDA. “The request letter has been submitted to the Prime Minister through the Chief Cabinet Secretary, mission completed. We will keep striving for the international agreement on the global stage. I just had a phone call with a U.S. Congressman and will continue communicating with him on a regular basis,” said Mr. Fujisue.
U.S. President-elect Biden is a long-time dog lover, and will be bringing his German Shepherds, Champ and Major, to the White House. Biden made his position on companion animals very clear on Twitter, “Some Americans celebrate #NationalCatDay, some celebrate #NationalDogDay, President Trump celebrates neither. It says a lot. It’s time we put a pet back in the White House.”
Mr. Biden pledged to rebuild the United States’ relationship with its alliance. When he meets with the Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide next year, the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats might become the first alliance treaty the two new leaders sign, with Mr. Biden’s two dogs bearing witness to the ceremony. The topic of animal protection goes beyond partisanship; it can melt the heart of not only the American and Japanese people, but also everyone in the world who loves animals. The “dog and cat diplomacy” would enhance the positive impact that the U.S.-Japan alliance has on the globe.
The original copy of the letter is available here.