Japan gears up for war-like scene, holds evacuation drill to combat North Korean missile threat

Japan's military drill
Japan Ground Self Defense Force members take part in a rescue drill during their joint military exercise with the U.S. Army, named Orient Shield 17, near Mount Fuji. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japan has conducted the first-ever missile evacuation drill in Tokyo to combat the rising threats from North Korea amidst the constant tension and anxiety in the Korean peninsula. During the drill, all the rides came to a halt in an amusement park, and people huddled into the basement to save their lives.

Preparing for the worst scenario

"An advisory about a missile launch was just issued. Everyone, please stay calm and seek shelter in the basement. Those who are already indoors, please stay there. About 200 employees acted the part of calm, collected park visitors facing possible nuclear annihilation and left picnic tables and rides and calmly marched to a basement," reports the Associated Press.

Apart from the amusement park, drills were also conducted in a Tokyo subway station and a community center. Hundreds of people participated in the drill and all of them ducked and covered their heads during the drill, a scenario which may arise when a North Korean missile hits Japan's capital.

Japan has conducted similar drills in 20 other cities in the recent past, but this is for the first time that such an activity has been conducted in Tokyo.

During the drill, trainers passed instructions and guided people to safe zones which may protect them during the time of a dreaded missile hit.

According to experts, the threats posed by North Korea is deepening day by day, and this has compelled the Japanese Government to conduct such drills to save their citizens during a mishap which may happen in the coming days.

"A missile from North Korea would arrive in less than 10 minutes and the first alert would come about three minutes after launch, which gives us only around five minutes to find shelter," told Hiroyuku Suenaga, a senior Japanese Government official after the completion of the Tokyo exercise.

Even though the drill was well received by people in Tokyo, a small section has criticized the move stating that these activities are basically military exercises. According to these protestors, drills like these will end up in fanning public fear thereby blocking the scope for open talks on this issue.