Meeting for Fire Ant Stakeholders at Ishigaki City (November 2020)

At Ishigaki City, Section Leader Yoshimura gave a lecture on fire ant identification training organized by the Okinawa Prefectural Government for administrative and port officials. The Ministry of the Environment also held a fire ant control meeting for stakeholders in the Yaeyama region, which Yoshimura continued to attend. Although news about the spread of COVID-19 may have overshadowed any news about invasive ants, it is nonetheless important to continue taking proactive measures. The situation is dire: this year, the establishment of a new invasive ant, the browsing ant, has been confirmed on the main island of Okinawa, and fire ant nests with many breeding individuals were discovered on the ground outside container yards in mainland Japan. For remote island communities, it is vital to maintain local contact networks and division of roles in order to respond quickly and without confusion. As the administration frequently changes personnel, we feel it is crucial to hold these meetings on a regular basis.