Japan holds first missile evacuation drill

Friday's drill played out a scenario in which "country X" fires a ballistic missile at Japan, which is wary after actual missile tests and threats from North Korea.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Elementary school students on March 17 take part in an evacuation drill for local residents based on the scenario that a ballistic missile lands in Japanese waters, in Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan.

Japan on Friday conducted its first evacuation drill for a missile attack. The drill was held in the city of Oga, northern Akita prefecture, as regional tensions soar over North Korean threats.

The exercise comes a week after the DPRK launched four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest coast, with one rocket landing around 200 kilometres from Oga.

City officials said 110 residents including primary school students took part in Friday's drill.

The exercise did not name North Korea, only referring to "country X".

A government official said the exercise was held on the premise that a North Korean missile had landed in Japan's territorial waters.

However, the drill was planned last year and was not conducted as a result of the North Korean launches earlier this month, officials said.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile drill would help educate the public.

North Korea has defied UN Security Council resolutions to develop its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, destabilising one of the world's most volatile regions.

TRTWorld and agencies