June 6 (UPI) — Japan conducted a simulation exercise for its self-defense forces on Tuesday, to prepare the military for a possible North Korea missile strike.
Disaster management agencies in Japan’s Tottori Prefecture and Tokyo’s self-defense forces conducted the drills, while simulating a North Korean ballistic missile drop on land, Kyodo news agency reported.
North Korea has launched a dozen missiles in 2017, and many of the projectiles fell in the Sea of Japan, raising concerns in Tokyo the country’s military is inadequately prepared to deal with more dangerous provocations.
Japan has not been able to intercept projectiles that have fallen in its maritime exclusive economic zone.
The exercises measured the self-defense forces’ ability to respond to a potential attack, and to work with local governments and disaster management agencies, according to Kyodo.
No civilians were involved in the exercises, but the prefecture is planning a drill for local residents in February 2018.
In March, Japan conducted an unprecedented civilian evacuation drill in Oga City, Akita Prefecture.
About 100 people took part in the drills, which included transmission of information across “J-Alert,” a national emergency alert system that can transmit urgent messages nationwide.
Other exercises were conducted in April, in Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu and in Yamaguchi Prefecture in Honshu.
Plans are also under way for more evacuation drills in Yamagata, Nagasaki, and Niigata Prefectures.