Japan steps up crisis response efforts on national Disaster Prevention Day

Some 2.35 million Japanese residents took part in a nationwide drill on Monday, September 1, as part of Disaster Prevention Day.

The exercise is carried out annually on the anniversary of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, in which more than 100,000 people died.

Dry runs are carried out each year in response to an imaginary magnitude 7.3 ‘quake hitting Tokyo in the early morning.

Twelve-year-old Kyoko Okada took part in the drill at school.

“Many mothers, including mine, came promptly to pick us up today and I think such efforts will save us when a disaster actually occurs,” she said.

Yoko Komiya, the mother of 13-year-old Chisato said:

“I believe this annual drill will lead to better prevention during future disasters, like the one we experienced in northern Japan.”

In 2011, a crippling earthquake in northeastern Japan killed around 19,000 people. It triggered a tsunami and sent reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant into meltdown.

Since then, disaster response efforts have been stepped up.

The government is urging people to stockpile essentials such as food and water, but also toilet paper as more than 40 percent of Japan’s supply comes from a particularly seismically-active zone.
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