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Tokyo’s Nightlife District Kabukicho Declares War on Rats; Shinjuku to Allocate Funds to Combat Rat Population

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kabukicho nightlife district in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, is seen during the daytime.

The government of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward will launch an operation to eliminate rats from its Kabukicho nightlife district.

Videos of large numbers of rats scavenging garbage in the district have been circulating on social media. Prompted by this, the government will include ¥12.29 million for measures such as conducting environmental surveys and extermination operations in a supplementary budget to be submitted to the ward’s assembly, which convenes on Sept. 21. The ward hopes to start the survey around November.

According to the ward’s plan, contractors will search for rat burrows and gnaw marks on garbage bags and investigate the factors leading rats to proliferate in the district. In addition, boxes containing rat poison will be placed in 220 locations to intensively exterminate the rats. The frequency of collecting illegally dumped trash will also be increased from twice a month to about twice a week.

Shinjuku Ward Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi said, “Rats may carry various pathogens, so we want to make the area safer by promoting countermeasures.”