Bird flu confirmed at chicken farm in Hokkaido
Jiji -- Dec 17
Highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed at a chicken farm in the town of Shimizu, Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, the prefectural government said Friday.

This is the fifth bird flu case confirmed at a domestic poultry farm this winter. The other four cases happened at a chicken farm in the village of Sekikawa, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, another in the city of Joetsu in the same prefecture, and two duck farms in the city of Aomori, the capital of the namesake prefecture in northeastern Japan.

The Shimizu farm has 210,000 chickens for eggs production. Work to cull the birds will start Saturday morning. After the culling, the birds will be buried to prevent the spread of infections.

Around 10 a.m. Friday (1 a.m. GMT), the Tokachi livestock hygiene service center, which covers the town, received a report that about 30 chickens were found dead at the farm, according to the Hokkaido government.

北海道清水町にある養鶏場のニワトリから高病原性鳥インフルエンザウイルスが検出されました。 16日、清水町にある養鶏場から「ニワトリ30羽が死んでいる」と家畜保健衛生所に連絡がありました。
News sources: Jiji, ANNnewsCH
Dec 17
A ski resort opened in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture on Saturday, with its operator and the local government saying it is the country's first new facility to be opened to skiers and snowboarders in 14 years. (Japan Today)
Dec 17
A 27-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in Fukui Prefecture and taking her to his home in Aichi Prefecture, police said. (Japan Today)
Dec 17
The operator of Japan’s only “baby hatch” said Saturday that the nation should allow women to give birth anonymously at hospitals in cases of unwanted pregnancy, while ensuring the children’s right to learn their mother’s identity after they grow up. (Japan Times)
Dec 16
A funeral home set to open soon in Japan plans to provide the country's first-ever drive-through service. (NHK)
Dec 16
Japan's Coast Guard has released video footage of North Korean boats illegally fishing in Japan's exclusive economic zone. (NHK)
Dec 16
At the opening of his trial on Friday, an 18-year-old boy admitted to stabbing a woman to death before dumping her body in Ryugasaki City last year, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 16
Police said Friday that two glass windows and a glass door on train cars on the JR Musashino Line were shattered by stones thrown through them on Wednesday and Thursday nights. (Japan Today)
Dec 15
Japanese authorities have found 4 bodies in 2 wooden boats that washed ashore on the Sea of Japan coast in Akita City, Akita Prefecture. (NHK)
Dec 14
Officials from a Japanese train operator say a crack was found near the welded joint of one of the key parts and the undercarriage of a Shinkansen bullet train. (NHK)
Dec 14
Japan's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling finding the mayor of Minokamo in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, guilty of receiving bribes. (Jiji)