Chickens infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza have been found at a poultry farm in the town of Taragi in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, the farm ministry said Sunday.
This is the first bird flu case reported in Japan in three years.
A total of some 112,000 chickens at the farm and another the same farmer operates in the village of Sagara in the prefecture will be culled to prevent the disease from spreading.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries convened a panel of experts to discuss measures to deal with the incident. While the route of the infection is still uncertain, Prof. Toshihiro Ito of Tottori University, chairman of the panel, told reporters after its meeting that migratory birds may have brought bird flu viruses from South Korea hit by the disease.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)