With deaths and injuries from bears already hitting a record high in the current fiscal 2023, the Environment Ministry plans to beef up countermeasures ahead of springtime, when the animals come out of hibernation.

As part of its measures to prevent bears from entering human settlements, the ministry will conduct inhabitation research on bears by the end of March, and will bolster preparations to cull bears and strengthen a liaison system in preparation for the animals appearing in human habitats.

It plans to entrust prefectural governments and bear trappers with implementing such measures. Each prefecture will be given ¥3 million to ¥5 million in financial resources. For the measures, the ministry has set aside ¥73 million under the government's supplementary budget for fiscal 2023.