Japan's agriculture ministry has urged poultry farms to step up measures against bird flu, as outbreaks have led to the destruction of a record-high almost 10 million chickens and other birds.
At an emergency meeting of the ministry's task force on Monday, minister Nomura Tetsuro said experts warn that concentrations of avian flu viruses in the environment are very high.
He stressed that the central and regional governments must work closely together to respond to the outbreak.
Officials reported that about 9.98 million birds have been or are to be culled since October last year.
The officials issued instructions to farm operators to ensure that facilities are properly sanitized.
The operators are also urged to conduct repairs on facilities if necessary to keep wild birds, which can carry the viruses, away from poultry.
The previous cull record was 9.87 million birds, between autumn of 2020 and spring of 2021.