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.
Government figures show a sharp and continuous fall-off in the number of farmers over the past five years that potentially threatens the landscape as its stewards leave the sector and are not replaced. (Japan Times)
Japan plans to boost financial aid to developing countries to help them tackle climate change by providing about ¥1.3 trillion (about $10.6 billion) a year by 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday. (The Japan News)
The Japanese government plans to tighten its energy-efficiency standards for lamps to effectively ban production and imports of fluorescents and incandescents, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
No major gangster bloodbath has occurred in the three months since Japan's largest yakuza organization, Yamaguchi-gumi, split into two rival mobs, but to say the sides are living in harmony would be an exaggeration. (Asahi)
A 60-year-old man in Tochigi Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, who claims to be an exorcist was arrested Thursday on suspicion of killing a diabetic boy by halting the administration of insulin, police said. (Japan Today)
Police and animal protection center officials captured the last of two emus, an ostrich-like bird from Australia, that escaped from a farm in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, earlier this month. (Japan Times)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the head of an adult video (AV) label specializing in productions featuring gay men for employing an underage male actor, reports Nippon News Network. (Tokyo Reporter)