Japan to slap hefty fine on meat smugglers from July 1

Violators to face 3 million yen fine, could be denied entry

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(Facebook, @maffjapan photo)

(Facebook, @maffjapan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan will impose heavy penalties on those smuggling meat products into the country starting Wednesday (July 1) in a bid to keep African swine fever (ASF) at bay.

Individuals found bringing pork or other types of meat into the Northeast Asian country will face a fine of up to 3 million yen (US$28,000), a sum triple the current fine. Corporations in violation will be subject to fines of 50 million yen (US$466,500), a staggering 50 times higher than before, reported NHK.

Meanwhile, the presence of sniffer dogs will be increased across airports and other facilities to bolster the detection of the contraband. Around 140 canines, or 2.6 times the current level, will be deployed at border checkpoints until the end of March 2021.

The measures are similar to those that have been adopted by Taiwanese authorities and impose a maximum fine of NT$1 million on people who attempt to import meat into the island country. Taiwan and Japan are the rare countries in Asia that have managed to prevent the highly contagious swine flu.

ASF has been reported in domestic and wild pigs across Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. A total of 12 nations in Asia have fallen prey to the disease, including China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea, East Timor, Indonesia, and India, according to Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center.