Weed killer traces detected in soil near 9 Bigmotor outlets, land ministry says

Japan's land ministry says weed killer traces have been detected in soil for growing roadside trees near nine outlets of major used car dealer Bigmotor.

The ministry carried out an investigation in late July after sidewalk trees were found dead in front of Bigmotor outlets along national roads.

The ministry released the results on Wednesday. It says traces of weed killer were discovered in the soil near nine of the 11 outlets investigated. Those nine locations are in Fukui, Ehime and some other prefectures.

Ministry officials say Bigmotor has informed them that its employees had used herbicides or taken other measures at six locations.

The ministry plans to file a complaint with police and restore the affected land plots to their original state. It adds that it will demand Bigmotor to pay for the replanting costs.

In a different case of alleged wrongdoing, the used car dealer is accused of conducting unnecessary repairs and filing fraudulent insurance claims.