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More Evacuation Drills Required in Face of North Korean Missile Threat


North Korea’s Scud-ER (extended range) missiles can reach western Japan, and most of Japan is within range of its Rodong missiles.

The threat posed by North Korea is growing. Every possible effort should be made to ensure the safety of people living in Japan in preparation for unexpected contingencies.

The government and concerned local authorities have conducted Japan’s first evacuation exercise for local residents in Oga, Akita Prefecture, based on the premise that a foreign nation had launched a ballistic missile.

Using a scenario in which a missile came down in the sea off the Oga Peninsula, the government relayed news of the launch to the city via the J-Alert nationwide emergency warning system. The city then called on residents to evacuate by messages sent through email and a wireless public address system.


About 100 people hurried to a nearby gymnasium and a community center. It is said that a North Korean missile would reach Japan in about 10 minutes, but the evacuation was completed in about seven minutes.

The best way to avoid damage caused by a missile is to make every effort to quickly take shelter inside a strong building. Widely sharing awareness of this point is essential.

The exercise was smoothly carried out because the residents were waiting near the evacuation shelters. Looking ahead, evacuation exercises based on more realistic scenarios should be repeated. This would lead to the crafting of a system in which responding flexibly to unexpected contingencies is possible.


The exercise was arranged following North Korea’s launch of a missile that landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Akita Prefecture’s coast in August 2016. However, in 1998, North Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew over the Tohoku region and came down in the Pacific Ocean. Wasn’t this evacuation drill rather too late to come about?

Take more precautions

North Korea’s Scud-ER (extended range) missiles can reach western Japan, and most of Japan is within range of its Rodong missiles. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government would urge local authorities to conduct similar evacuation drills. From the perspective of crisis management, this awareness of the problem is completely natural. … (read more)

Source: The Japan Times

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