The residents of Abu, a small coastal town on the Sea of Japan, were rushed to safety as part of evacuation drills after being warned of a ballistic missile attack amid tensions with North Korea over its missile and nuclear programs. The drills coincided with the three-day joint military drill between Japan’s naval and air forces and U.S. aircraft carriers in the Sea of Japan. A North Korean ballistic missile takes 10 minutes to reach Japanese territory. The Japan authorities has informed the citizens that they would be notified of an imminent missile attack on Japan 10 minutes prior to the projectile hitting the country and the government has also published a guide on protection against “armed attacks and terrorism.”
Some 280 people involved in the drills were alerted to a potentially devastating missile launch through loudspeakers as blaring sirens stunned school children playing outside a local elementary school. The drills were conducted 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.
Russia Today reported that a scenario of the imaginative strike was created in which the missile was set to fall in the rocky terrain of the Yamaguchi Prefecture where the town with some 3,400 residents in located. 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.