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About Markets in Japan


When you export a horse, it involves taking him in and out of an environment to which he is not accustomed, i.e., quarantine stables, horse trailers, horse stalls, and cargo aircraft. It is therefore essential to take the utmost care to ensure that the horse is transported safely and without injury.

JBBA has two export quarantine facilities, one at the Kyushu Stallion Station and one at the Shizunai Stallion Station in Hokkaido. These stations are to ensure that horses purchased at auction can be exported safely.


The Shipping Process

  • (1)
    The horse is unloaded from the horse trailer and placed in a stall.

    Two racehorses in a stall designed especially for horses(A maximum of three horses can be placed in this stall.)

  • (3)
    The stall containing the horse is carried to the aircraft on a small tractor.

    An air-transport container for horses (horse stall) being raised to the aircraft's front cargo hold on bearing equipment.

  • (5)
    stalls are moved into the plane and set in place

    An aircraft with a horse container on board preparing to take off

JBBA can introduce you to experienced transporters that you can trust:

Nosawa & Co., Ltd.

Nosawa & Co., Ltd. is one of the oldest companies in Japan to be involved in the import of live horses into Japan and we continue to be very active in this field.

With the extensive expertise we have acquired through many years of experience in shipping live horses to/from various countries, we can offer the highest quality shipping arrangements for your valuable horses.

The shipping arrangements that we can provide you are:

  • Road and air transportation
  • Quarantine arrangements
  • Export (import) customs clearance
  • Export (import) documentation
  • Studbook formalities
  • Transit insurance

For further information, please contact:
Mark Ogura
Nosawa & Co., Ltd.
Livestock Division
4-1, Marunouchi 3-chome, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0005 Japan
Phone: +81-3-3216-3476 / Fax: +81-3-3201-3039

Ever Union Shokai, Ltd.

We have more than 50 years experience shipping horses to numerous countries around the world.
We offer comprehensive international shipping services including the following:

  • All import/export documentation;
  • All racing authority and stud book registration transfers;
  • Insurance;
  • All health examination documentation;
  • Import/ Export quarantine;
  • Stabling and training prior to shipment;
  • Transport arrangements including suitable flights and transport to airport;

For more information, please contact;
Ko Saito
Ever Union Shokai, Ltd.
2-2-3 Shinbashi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 105-0004 Japan.
tel:+81-(0)3-3503-0448/ fax:+81-(0)3-3503-0449


SPIX is a company that handles the export of thoroughbreds.

If customers so request, we can take care of almost everything connected to the import and export of thoroughbreds, including quarantining, customs, arranging cargo aircraft, domestic transportation, bloodline registration, and liaison with animal inspection and public health departments.

We handle the import/export of around 100 thoroughbreds a year between Japan and the U.S., Europe, Australia, and so on.

We also have experience of transporting Japanese horses overseas to participate in international races.

  • Manhattan Cafe, Eagle Cafe(2002 FR)
  • Telegnosis, Lohengrin (2003 FR)
  • Dance in the Mood (2004&2006 US)
  • Seeking the Dia (2004 GB&FR, 2005 SG)
  • Ingrandire (2004 GB)
  • Eye Popper (2005 AU)
  • Zenno Rob Roy (2005 GB)
  • Cesario (2005 US)
  • Keeneland Swan (2005 GB)
  • Delta Blues, Pop Rock (2006 AU)
  • Asahi Rising (2006 US)
  • Heart's Cry (2006 GB)
  • Dia de la Novia, Koiuta, Kiss to Heaven, Robe Decollete (2007 US)
  • Shadow Gate (2007 SG)
  • Casino Drive (2008 US)

If you are thinking about importing or exporting a horse from or to Japan, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Shinichi Miyagawa at SPIX.
Please contact us via e-mail.

Shinichi Miyagawa
7F GSK Kudan Bldg.
4-6-10 kudanminami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074, Japan
tel:+81-3-5210-2020 / fax:+81-3-5210-2021

Numbers of Horses Exported/Imported

Imports of foreign-bred horses increased sharply following the announcement in 1992 of plans to ease restrictions on the entry of foreign-bred horses into races administered by the Japan Racing Association (JRA), and because of steep appreciation in the yen at around this time. Imports of horses peaked at 453 horses for racing in 1997 and 234 stallions for breeding in 1995. Although the figures varied to some extent in the following years, the overall trend was downward, such that 312 horses for racing and 141 stallions for breeding were imported in 2000. Since then, however, thanks to the success of imported horses in JRA races, the number of horses imported has held fairly steady, despite the existence of negative factors such as the depreciation of the yen.

On the other hand, while there were almost no market purchases or exports by foreign nationals of Japan-bred horses until 2003, measures to promote the export of Japan-bred horses that have been implemented by JBBA since then have resulted in 170 horses being purchased at Japanese markets and exported to South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong in the four years from 2004 to 2007.