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Japan to provide aid to local govts over increasing bear attacks
Japan's Environment Ministry has announced that it plans to provide emergency support to local governments over the recent unprecedented surge in bear attacks.
Tokyo: Japan's Environment Ministry has announced that it plans to provide emergency support to local governments over the recent unprecedented surge in bear attacks.
The aid will be provided mainly to the northern prefectures of Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate and Akita, where such incidents have happened frequently, to cover bear habitat surveys and subsidise the cost of implementing safety measures, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.
According to the Ministry, the number of people attacked by bears has been increasing at an unprecedented pace this fiscal year through next March, reaching 109 as of the end of September.
The figure is the highest for the same period since fiscal 2007 when the government started such monthly statistics.
Calling the spike in the appearance of bears "an extraordinary situation", it warned that due to the poor acorn crops this year, bears may wander near human residential houses until around December, when the animals go into hibernation.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK said that attacks have been reported in 17 of Japan's 47 prefectures, and the number is rising faster than ever.
Akita prefecture had the most victims, with 30 people, followed by Iwate and Fukushima with 30 and 13 people, respectively, according to government data.
On October 18, a woman was found dead in a suspected bear attack in the city of Toyama, central Japan.