Swine fever reported at public research institute as Gifu Prefecture logs third case this year
Japan Times -- Dec 06
Officials from the city of Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture, said Wednesday that a case of classical swine fever has been discovered at a public research institute — the third such case of the virus being reported this year and just over a decade since it was official declared eradicated in Japan.

The latest case follows infections reported in September at a pig farm and another at a public livestock center park in November, both in the same Gifu city.

The prefectural government began culling hogs at the research institute, which breeds about 500 pigs for the development of brand-name pork products, after two animals tested positive for the virus that has a high mortality rate. Swine fever does not affect humans even if an infected animal is consumed. The outbreaks at public facilities could spark criticism against the local authority, which is at the forefront of measures to protect livestock.

At a meeting held Wednesday to respond to the outbreak, the minister of agriculture, Takamori Yoshikawa, said, “It is extremely serious that the infection was detected at the prefectural institute. It will have a huge impact.” The minister said he may visit Gifu to deal with the outbreak.

Gifu Gov. Hajime Furuta apologized at the meeting, saying, “We are very sorry that the outbreak occurred at the prefectural facility, which is supposed to have well-prepared preventive measures in place.”

Deputy Gov. Takanori Kawai told reporters, “We make every effort in implementing preventive measures at core livestock industry facilities, but the positive test result indicates there was a failure in the process.”

According to the prefecture, on Monday, staff at the facility noticed four pigs had lost their appetite. In tests conducted by the central government, infections were confirmed in two of the pigs on Wednesday.

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Aug 24
Japan's government has announced that ballistic missiles are believed to have been launched from North Korea on Saturday morning. (NHK)
Aug 23
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has summoned South Korea's ambassador and lodged a protest at Seoul's decision to end an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries. (NHK)
Aug 23
The US Department of Defense has expressed its "strong concern" and "disappointment" at South Korea's decision to terminate its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. (NHK)
Aug 23
Japan's capital is set to lay claim to the country's tallest building in 2023, when developer Mori Building aims to complete a 330-meter tower as part of a major redevelopment. (Nikkei)
Aug 23
Japan's space agency said Thursday its Hayabusa2 space probe returning to Earth late next year will drop its capsule containing asteroid samples in Australia's southern desert. (Kyodo)
Aug 23
To boost the number of male employees taking paternity leave and promote female participation in the workforce, Japan's labor ministry decided to increase government subsidies for companies whose employees do so, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Aug 23
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a woman and a man for allegedly introducing a teenage girl to men for prostitution last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 21). (tokyoreporter.com)
Aug 23
A man affiliated with Japan's largest crime syndicate was shot Wednesday in Kobe apparently in connection with a feud among factions of the Yamaguchi-gumi organization in the western Japan city and surrounding areas, police said. (Japan Today)
Aug 23
Defending champions Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are the No. 1 seeds for singles play in the U.S. Open, it was announced on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 23
Japan will include sharing activities like Airbnb-style vacation rentals in gross domestic product calculations as early as fiscal 2020, Nikkei has learned, as the government seeks a better picture of the growing sector. (Nikkei)