Officials of the environment and transport ministries say they will send experts to 68 ports regularly visited by ships from China, Taiwan, Australia and other places where fire ants live. They have been conducting checks at 7 ports so far.
The experts will place traps and insecticidal bait where the ant is likely to be found.
The fire ant is native to South America. It has been discovered in Japan since May, at ports in Kobe, Nagoya and Tokyo.
Authorities are urging people to alert the environment ministry if they come across ants of any type they have never seen before.
Source and image: NHK