Amid the coronavirus pandemic, some Japanese nationals have complained that they have received unsolicited mysterious seed parcels that appear to be coming from China.
Plant quarantine officials in Japan have had a number of inquiries about unsolicited packages of seeds apparently sent from China. The authorities have urged people not to plant such seeds.
A man in Miura City in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo received a silver packet containing a bag of dozens of seed-like objects, each measuring about 2 millimeters. The shipping label suggests it came from China, national media reported.
Officials at the Yokohama Plant Protection Station say they have been contacted by people across the country about suspicious seed shipments since late July.
Similar incidents have been reported in more than 20 US states since June, including more than 1,000 in Virginia alone. The majority are postmarked from China. Authorities in Canada, Britain and Australia are also reporting cases.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied that the parcels have anything to do with the country, noting that postmarks indicating their origin are forged.