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Hooded crane in Kagoshima confirmed as infected with avian flu
A hooded crane found in Japan's largest crane wintering place in Izumi Plains, Kagoshima Prefecture, was confirmed Tuesday as having been infected with an H5N1 strain of highly infectious avian influenza, the Environment Ministry said. But the ministry said it is unclear whether the strain is highly lethal. The dead bird was being tested at Tottori University in Tottori Prefecture after it tested positive in a preliminary test.

The birds were found in the Izumi-Takaono National Wildlife Protection Area. The plains and the cranes that fly into the area are designated "special natural treasures" by the government for protection purposes. Two cranes that have tested negative in a preliminary test will also be scrutinized at the university and a government institute.

(AP, Dec 22)

18 Apr
An employee of the Foreign Ministry jumped to his death from the 8th floor at the ministry, police said Thursday. (Japan Today)

18 Apr
Japanese commercial music juggernaut AKB48 has added a 37-year-old mother of two to the wildly popular all-girl group as it looks to broaden the appeal of its teen-dominated line-up. (AFP)

18 Apr
Japan's Emperor and Empress have hosted more than 2,000 guests at their Spring Imperial Garden Party. (NHK)

17 Apr
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today)

17 Apr
Police in Tokyo said Wednesday they have arrested an unemployed 24-year-old man for robbing a convenience store in Shibuya. (Japan Today)

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