Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The recent outbreaks of swine fever in Japan are affecting some local municipalities that send pork products as return gifts under the country’s “furusato nozei” donation system. The disease, also known as hog cholera, has been confirmed in five prefectures—Aichi, Osaka, Nagano, Gifu and Shiga.
Under the furusato nozei system, people can make donations to prefectures or municipalities of their choice, which do not necessarily have to be their hometowns, and the donors qualify for income tax cuts. Many recipient local governments offer return gifts to donors.
At a farm in the village of Miyada in Nagano, 79 of the 80 pigs transferred from a farm in the city of Toyota in Aichi tested positive for swine fever. All 2,444 pigs at the farm were slaughtered.
As a result, the Miyada municipal government, which had sent sliced meat taken from pigs at the farm as a return gift under the furusato nozei system, has now been forced to stop taking orders for the pork from people making donations to the village. The meat was for “shabushabu,” a hot pot dish.
“The pork had been popular, so it’s regrettable,” an official at the village government’s general administration division said.
Pigs at a farm in the city of Higashiosaka in Osaka were also confirmed to have been infected with swine fever, leading the city government to exclude shabushabu meat and sausages, both made of pork from the facility, from its list of return gifts. The “Naniwa Pork” brand products had been used as furusato nozei rewards since October 2017.
A Higashiosaka government official said it remains to be seen when the city will be able to resume procurement of the popular meat products. “Donations to our city may decrease,” the official said.
The official said that the city is not accepting at the moment requests for the return of the shabushabu meat and sausages already sent to donors as rewards because swine fever does not transmit to humans.Speech