June 4, 2017
ABU, YAMAGUCHI PREF.- The Japanese government conducted an evacuation drill in the town of Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, on Sunday assuming the landing of a ballistic missile, following a series of missile launches by North Korea.
The exercise, the second of its kind following one held in Oga, Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in March, was intended to check the methods of distributing related information and taking shelter.
About 280 residents took part in the drill, carried out in the town's Nago area on the coast of the Sea of Japan, which separates the nation and the Korean Peninsula.
It was organized jointly by the Cabinet Secretariat, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, the Yamaguchi prefectural government and the Abu town government.
The drill assumed a scenario in which a ballistic missile was launched, setting off the J-Alert early warning system to put the public on alert, and then landed in a mountainous area around the prefecture.
In the drill, which started at 9:15 a.m. (12:15 a.m. GMT), the central government provided the information on the missile launch to the prefectural and town governments mainly through the Em-Net emergency information system.
Using its community wireless communications system, the town government called on residents to take refuge at nearby gymnasiums or other sturdy buildings.
"I was able to act calmly and evacuate in about three minutes," said Yuriko Suewaka, a 67-year-old local resident who joined the drill. But she was discontent with the communications system, saying, "The sound was unclear and barely audible."
Similar evacuation drills for missile landings are slated to be held in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, northeastern japan, on Friday and in Tsubame, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, on June 12. (Jiji Press)
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