Invasive beetle threatens Japan's beloved cherry blossoms
Japan Times -- Mar 23
Across the country delicate pink and white cherry blossoms are emerging, but the famed blooms are facing a potentially mortal enemy, experts say: an invasive foreign beetle.

The alien invader is Aromia bungii, otherwise known as the red-necked longhorn beetle, which is native to China, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and northern Vietnam.

The beetles live inside cherry and plum trees, stripping them of their bark. In serious cases, an infestation can kill a tree, and experts are sounding the alarm.

"If we don't take countermeasures, cherry trees could be damaged and we won't be able to enjoy hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in a few years' time," Estuko Shoda-Kagaya, a researcher at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, said Thursday.

The beetle was first spotted in 2012 in Aichi Prefecture but has now spread across the Tokyo region, according to the Environment Ministry.

Experts say it may have entered Japan via imported wood materials.

News source: Japan Times
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