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Cablegate: Avian Influenza: Japan Weekly Report June 15

VZCZCXRO9779
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHNH RUEHPB
DE RUEHKO #3317/01 1660914
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150914Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3290
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6752
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 6666
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9365
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9996
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7902
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 8269
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 003317

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AIAG AMBASSADOR LANGE
DEPT FOR OES/IHA SINGER AND FENDRICK
DEPT FOR EAP/J
USDA PASS TO APHIS
HHS PASS TO CDC
HHS FOR OGHA STEIGER, BHAT AND ELVANDER
DEPT PASS TO AID/GH/HIDN DENNIS CARROLL

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU KSTH ECON PREL SOCI JA
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA: JAPAN WEEKLY REPORT JUNE 15

REF: A. 05 STATE 153802
B. TOKYO 3169 AND PREVIOUS

TOKYO 00003317 001.2 OF 002


1. The following is an update on avian influenza (AI)
developments in Japan for the period June 8 to 15. No
human or animal outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza were
reported in Japan during the above period.

-- Ibaraki Prefecture Poultry Industry Hit Hard by Last
Year's LPAI Outbreaks --

2. The number of layer chickens in Ibaraki Prefecture has
declined approximately 30% as compared to the previous
year, knocking Ibaraki from its position as the top poultry
producing prefecture in Japan according to the results of
an annual survey conducted by agricultural officials every
February. The number of chickens fell 29.5% to a current
total of 8.5 million birds, a reduction of 3.6 million
chickens. The total number of breeder houses in the
prefecture also fell by 21 units. This currently places
Ibaraki as the fifth largest producer in Japan, following
Chiba, Aichi, Kagoshima and Hiroshima Prefectures. The
officials issuing the report connected the reduction to the
low pathogenic avian influenza outbreak last year that
forced many farmers to cull their chickens, leading to the
closure of some businesses.

-- Japan No Longer "Hungary" for Budapest's Chicken Exports
--

3. On June 12, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries (MAFF) announced that it would suspend imports of
poultry meat from Hungary due to outbreaks of highly
pathogenic avian influenza in that country. MAFF is
requesting further information from the government of
Hungary on the outbreak. Japan imported 193 tons of
poultry meat and 331 tons of poultry guts from Hungary in
2005, making Hungary the number two source of imported foie
gras.

-- Hundreds of Dead Migratory Birds Wash Up in Miyagi
Prefecture --

4. Officials have found hundreds of dead migratory birds
that have washed up on the shores of Miyagi Prefecture
between Natori and Iwanuma Cities. The prefecture's Nature
Conservation Division said the birds were Shearwaters, a
type of seabird. They blamed the deaths on poor weather,
and said that there was no concern that avian influenza was
to blame. The birds typically migrate from Australia to
Siberia between the spring and summer, passing through
Japan along the way. Officials sent three of the dead
birds to a health facility in Sendai City, where scientists
used a quick test to check for avian influenza. The
results all came back negative.

-- More Vaccine Needed for this Winter's Seasonal Flu --

5. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) expects
that between 21.5 and 22.8 million ampoules of seasonal
influenza vaccine will be needed for the upcoming winter
season. This is up one million ampoules from the previous
year. The number of ampoules will be able to treat more
than 40 million people. Four Japanese vaccine makers will
be able to supply 23 million ampoules to satisfy the
demand. The Ministry also mentioned that an additional 4.7
million ampoules might become necessary to respond to a
potential increase in demand from individuals who will want
a seasonal influenza vaccination if a patient suffering
from avian influenza is detected in Japan.

-- High School Agriculture Students Take Small Steps to
Prevent AI --

6. Students at the Nogei High School in Nantan City, Kyoto

TOKYO 00003317 002.2 OF 002


Prefecture have designed a poultry house that significantly
reduces the amount of stress chickens feel when kept at
such facilities. The students were prohibited from raising
poultry due to an avian influenza outbreak that occurred in
the area in early 2004, but when school officials agreed to
restart the program, the students decided to completely
redesign the school's chicken coops by taking into
consideration avian influenza prevention measures such as
ways to prevent unwanted contact with wild birds. The
school's original cages were built so that each bird was
kept in a separate 20x40x40 centimeter enclosure where they
also laid their eggs, but in the redesigned houses, several
birds coexist in a larger 150x180x175 centimeter cage that
is outfitted with perches and egg laying areas that are
covered with a black cloth to reduce stress. The students
report that though the chickens are laying slightly fewer
eggs, they appear healthier. The school hopes that this
activity will provide the students with an idea of how to
produce safe and secure agricultural products.

SCHIEFFER

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