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The Environment Ministry is fighting a battle on multiple fronts against highly venomous fire ants to prevent them from settling in Japan.

Fire ants, indigenous to South America, measure between 2.5 and 6 millimeters and often hitch rides to Japan aboard container ships, mainly from China. The reddish brown, highly aggressive insects were first found in Japan in June 2017. A total of 84 cases of discovery in 18 prefectures had been confirmed by the end of November 2021.

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