The news that bird flu was detected at a chicken farm in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, has rekindled farm owners' bitter memories of an outbreak four years ago that resulted in more than 1 million birds being culled.

Mitsuko Komoto, a 52-year-old chicken farm owner in the city of Hyuga, said she is worried this may be the start of another serious outbreak.

"I remember how we struggled desperately four years ago, because our farm was within the 10-km radius of the designated epidemic zone," she said. "I can only hope they act quickly and sanitize the farm thoroughly to avoid spreading the infection."