World War 3: Japan Prepares For Missile Strikes
A town in western Japan has conducted an evacuation drill amid rising fear that a North Korean ballistic missile could hit Japanese soil.
More than 280 residents and schoolchildren from Abu, a small town with a population of just over 3400 on Japan’s northwestern coast, on Sunday rushed to school buildings to seek shelter after sirens from loudspeakers warned them of a possible missile flight and debris falling on them.
Following the announcement, the evacuees were accompanied to a school’s gymnasium, where they were to stay during the attack.
According to the scenario of the imaginative strike, the missile was set to fall in the rocky terrain of the Yamaguchi Prefecture where the town with some 3,400 residents in located, Jiji Press reported.
The drills purported to test the means of emergency communication and to ensure that in case of a real-life attack everybody would find their way to a designated shelter. The exercises were held at the behest of the Japanese government, the fire service and disaster management agency, as well as the local prefectural and town authorities.
“I was able to stay calm and evacuated in a few minutes,” Yuriko Suewaka, a local resident, told AFP.
“It was a good way to understand how to evacuate,” Ono, a schoolchild’s parent, told Reuters, noting however that the drills came as a surreal experience for him.
“It didn’t feel very realistic,” he added.
Japan’s government has published a list of tips in case of a missile strike, including a recommendation to “take shelter in a robust building nearby” and “move away from windows or, if possible, move to a room without windows.”
Government officials also instructed local authorities in different areas of Japan to hold drills similar to the one in Abu. Residents of the nearby Fukuoka conducted a drill last week, with others scheduled in the coming months.
With tensions running high in the region, the situation has flared up even more with Pyongyang’s firing of a short-range ballistic missile into Japan’s exclusive economic zone on May 28. On Tuesday, the US successfully conducted a ballistic missile interceptor test. While Washington argued that the test was planned “years in advance,” North Korea decried it as a “risky act” that implies US “preparations for unleashing a nuclear war” against the reclusive state, vowing to continue development of its nuclear and force. It was followed by major war games in the Sea of Japan, involving two US strike groups and two Japanese destroyers.