OSAKA--Ito En, Ltd., a major beverage maker based in Tokyo, abolished animal testing at the end of April, while cosmetics giant Shiseido Co. aims to do so within the company by March next year and abolish the practice completely, including through outsourcing, by March 2013, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
The companies decided to scrap the tests, eyeing European and U.S. markets, where animal rights movements are strong. In Europe, sales of cosmetics developed via animal testing are regulated.
Since it is the first time major Japanese companies have decided to abolish animal tests, the move likely will affect other corporations.
According to Ito En, the company decided to abolish animal testing through talks with animal rights organizations in the United States, the company's major export market, and also because it learned that two major U.S. beverage makers have abolished the practice. "It's an inevitable step as we take our business global," a staff member said.