Japanese officials are investigating a suspected outbreak of bird flu in the southwest of the country, according to the country’s agriculture ministry.


If confirmed, the new outbreak in Kokonoe, Oita on Kyushu island, would be the country’s second outbreak, reported Agence France-Presse . Japan reported an outbreak of bird flu on Honshu island last month, but had had no new cases since a mass poultry cull and disinfection of the affected farm.


Meanwhile, new outbreaks of the disease have been reported in Thailand and China, as bird flu continues to cause havoc across the region.


Outbreaks of bird flu have been confirmed in ten Asian countries, leading to the slaughter of around 80 million chickens, and the deaths of 20 people.