As nuclear tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world remain high, shelter and evacuation drills have been increasingly common across Japan. But until this week, none had taken place in its capital city. Today, Tokyo held its first-ever drill to practice safe evacuation procedures in the event of a missile strike, Reuters reports.
At an amusement part in Central Tokyo, participants played the roles of visitors to the park, sitting at picnic tables and various rides, the Associated Press reported. Then public speakers declared a missile strike was imminent and to seek shelter immediately.
With only about 300 people reportedly taking part in the drills, photos of the exercise was less a measure of the disaster-readiness of Tokyo’s 9-million-plus residents, as it was a message of calm and reassurance to the public. Nevertheless, the drill was met by protestors who felt it only perpetuated fear. Mari Chihara, a 68-year-old pacifist told the Associated Press, “I doubt if a missile is actually fired at Japan, and a drill like this is effective when there is a real missile attack.”