Şimal Çınar –TDO- North Korea has sent ballistic missiles flying over northern Japan at least twice and it also test-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles that fell inside Japanese exclusive economic waters off the northern coasts. Due to this North Korean threat, more than 20 evacuation drills have been conducted around Japan since last year. But on Monday for the first time one of these missile evacuation drills took place at country’s capital, Tokyo. The drill was conducted a week after a mistaken alert was issued by the Japanese public broadcaster NHK saying that North Korea appeared to have launched a missile, warning people to take cover before apologizing for the error only minutes later.

The drill which was held at Tokyo Dome City Amusement Park and included 300 volunteers started with an announcement coming from a loudspeaker saying "We have information that a missile launch has occurred. Please evacuate calmly inside a building or underground" and a park employee ran around, shouting "a missile was launched.” As a siren went on, people hurried for cover in buildings and underground.

After the drill a Japanese government official told volunteers that "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."

While some of the residents in Tokyo reported that they were glad that these precautions are being taken and give them a chance to learn what to do in case of emergency, the drill also caused to protests. The ones who opposed to the drill stated that these actions will not be effective in case of an actual attack, rather they only fan missile scare among the Japanese people and their hatred toward North Korea. 

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