Around 350 people participated in the evacuation drills in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward, as well as a local amusement park, taking shelter in a nearby subway station and buildings, according to local media. "Please evacuate calmly inside a building or underground". Kana Okakuni, 19, also a student, added: "I think it's good to take a precaution, like having drills for earthquakes". "I see reports on North Korea nearly every day", said Tsuneo Yabe, 80, a participant from Bunkyo Ward.
Participants in an evacuation drill are shown where to go at the Tokyo Dome City amusement park in Tokyo, on January 22.
A missile has been launched.More news: Tom Brady calls Jaguars best team he's faced all season
Right after the announcement, park staff stopped the rides and guided participants indoors. "So drills should be held repeatedly".
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Monday his country had a "precious chance to open the door" for a peaceful resolution to tensions on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea last test-fired a missile on November 29 and has since restarted talks with South Korea, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared unimpressed by the latest developments, supporting the need for Japan to bolster its anti-missile defenses amid "the most severe security environment in the postwar era", as he described it in his speech to parliament on Monday, quoted in the Nikkei Asian Review.
"The drill allowed people in an urban setting to have a specific image of how to react when a missile is launched", Hiroyuki Suenaga, a Cabinet Secretariat counselor, said after the exercise.More news: Sen. Lindsey Graham on Shutdown: 'Everybody's Losing'
Narushige Michishita, professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, said the drill is not only effective in preparing people for emergencies, but allows the government to act stronger diplomatically against North Korean threats.
But another concern is that unreliable North Korean technology could see a missile crash unexpectedly on Japanese soil, threatening thousands of lives. Every time North Korea launches a missile over Japan, the nation's alert system warns residents via mobile phones and street-side loudspeaker broadcasts.
Japan's defenses against a ballistic missile strike include Aegis destroyers in the Sea of Japan armed with interceptor missiles created to destroy warheads in space. The country has also purchased Aegis Ashore, a land-based variant of the sea-based defense system.More news: Former Smiths Members Reunite for Orchestral Concerts