Did you know that unlike the EU, ANIMAL TESTING for cosmetics is still performed here in Japan? Unbelievable right? I know....I can't quite believe it myself.
The EU has been cruelty free since 2013, and the ban also extends to products which are imported from other countries as well. This means that any cosmetic sold in the EU can neither be imported or sold if any of it's ingredients have been tested on animals.
However, here in Japan there are no such regulations to prohibit animal testing and cosmetic companies are given free reign to perform any safety analysis they see appropriate.
So while it doesn't endorse it, it also does not restrict it either.....just sitting on the fence.
You'll be safe in the knowledge that the EU ban has had some influence on a few of the major players in the Japanese cosmetic market. Shiseido have followed the EU's lead as well as Kao (Curel, Biore, Kanebo) making their brand "Cruelty Free," although you will know that from sheer vastness of products for sale here in Japan, there's a lot of room for improvement, moreover, change.
Living in Japan has enlightened me to a whole new world of the cosmetics market and animal testing trials are becoming more and more hotly debated. People want to use products that are organically sourced, without the harmful side effects on both animals and the environment. Cultural perceptions of animal rights in Japan are only recently becoming more positive and there is still a lot of work to be done to make Japanese cosmetics that are truly Cruelty Free.