Photo credit: someone with too much time on their hands.

The annual migration of birds has brought the H5N1 influenza strain back to Asia. The virus was detected late last year among South Korean poultry, resulting in a cull of 200,000 chickens. Now H5N1 has been detected among Japanese chickens, and per their mandate to respond to natural disasters and emergencies, the Ground Self Defense Forces have been called in.

The original outbreak was reported to officials on Friday, when a farmer from Miyazaki in Southern Japan called to say that 36 chickens had been found dead. Further testing of seven chickens showed that six of the seven chickens were infected with the H5 strain of bird influenza, which led to the culling of over 10,000 chickens.

Another outbreak was confirmed on Sunday, and the government announced that an additional 410,000 chickens at the second poultry farm will be disinfected and disposed of. (Link)

According to the article, the local prefectural governor requested the assistance of the nearby 43rd Infantry Regiment. According to another article, the  number of troops deployed stands at 170. The 43rd Infantry, along with the 8th Infantry, recently concluded the annual Forest Light field exercises with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Forest Light 2010. U.S. Marine with GSDF Sgt. 1st Class Yogi Kawano, sniper, 2nd Co., 43rd Infantry Regiment, Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. U.S. Marine Corps photo.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch