Minister inspects airport measures for ASF

Japan's agriculture minister has called for tightening quarantine at airports to prevent African swine fever from entering the country.

Taku Eto visited Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Thursday, and inspected the customs and immigration area of its international flight terminal.

His visit came as outbreaks of the fatal and highly contagious disease have been reported in China, South Korea and other parts of Asia. No cases of ASF have been confirmed so far in Japan. There is no effective vaccine developed.

Sniffer dogs are deployed there as the virus can be brought into Japan through pork products that travelers may be carrying.

Officials were seen holding placards cautioning travelers not to bring any meat products into the country.

So far, traces of ASF infection have been confirmed from 81 meat products brought to Japan since October of last year.

The minister told reporters that quarantine control by officers and sniffer dogs has to be strengthened especially at Haneda as the airport is open around the clock.