WASHINGTON — Japan has agreed to a schedule of ending imports of endangered sea turtles and U.S. officials will not recommend trade sanctions, the Interior Department announced Tuesday night.
The decision to end imports of the hawksbill turtle was announced last month in Tokyo, but the Japanese government did not give a timetable.
Interior Department spokesman Steve Goldstein, speaking for Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr. and Commerce Secretary Robert A. Mosbacher, said Japan had agreed to import only 8.3 tons of turtles from Aug. 1 this year through Dec. 31, 1992, and no more after that.
Japan already has stopped importing the other endangered sea turtle, the olive Ridley turtle. But last year it imported 22 tons, of hawksbill turtles, principally for tortoise-shell products like eyeglass frames and combs.
"Japan's action will remove a substantial threat to survival" of the turtle, Goldstein said.