THE major of a small Japanese town has threatened its inhabitants who are pet owners with a tax unless they clean up after their animals.

Hiroyasu Chiyomatsu, the leader of Izumisano in  Osaka Prefecture, Japan, has pledged to crackdown on dog owners that fail to clean up any fouling of footpaths and alike by their animals. At the last count there was 5,375 dogs registered to the more than  100,000 population in Izumisano.

Chiyomatsu has urged owners to improve their “morals and manners” and added that what is important is that Izumisano becomes clean.

The town’s council says it will fine offending owners YEN1,000 (approximately £8.00) and the money collected will be used to pay for patrols to make sure dog owners continue to observe the hygiene notices.