The African swine fever virus has been detected in a contagious state on Japanese soil for the first time, the government said Tuesday.

The government has in the past detected genes of the African swine fever virus in food brought from overseas, but never before has the virus been confirmed as being at an infectious stage.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the discovery of an infectious form of the virus has prompted a decision to strengthen measures against illegal imports of livestock products.