FUKUSHIMA – The Environment Ministry said Tuesday it will research reports of increased damage caused by wild animals in nuclear crisis-hit Fukushima and three surrounding prefectures this month and consider countermeasures.
The move comes amid a decline in the number of registered hunters in Fukushima, Miyagi, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
The ministry will examine if any changes in the numbers and behavior of boars, black bears, deer, monkeys and Japanese serows have been observed since the nuclear crisis began, officials said.
“As it has been reported that damage to farm produce by these animals is increasing, we initially intend to figure out what is going on,” a ministry official said.
According to a local hunting association, the number of registered hunters in Fukushima Prefecture in fiscal 2011 has declined by around 1,000 to 2,583.
High levels of cesium has been detected in the meat of boars and deer, while some hunters are concerned about radiation exposure.
Agreement on debris
Akita Prefecture agreed Tuesday to accept quake and tsunami debris from neighboring Iwate Prefecture.
Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake visited Morioka, the prefectural capital of Iwate, and signed an agreement with Iwate Gov. Takuya Tasso that will last until March 2014.
Akita will accept debris under certain conditions, such as the level of radioactive cesium being lower than 100 becquerels per kilogram, according to officials.