It would take 10 minutes for a North Korean missile to hit Japan, Tokyo estimates, as tensions between the countries grow. Guidelines on what to do if a strike actually happens have been published online and have recently seen a huge surge in interest.
A Japanese civil security website – the Cabinet Secretariat Civil Protection Portal Site – says that a North Korean missile would reach the country “in a very short time,” adding that a missile could cover a distance of 1,600km and reach Japan in 10 minutes.
The number of people searching for guidance on the Civil Protection Portal Site has risen almost sixfold since March, with 2.6 million visiting the website in April compared with some 450,000 in February, the Japan Times reports.
People would actually have much less than 10 minutes to find safety, according to Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura.
“A missile may not be detected as soon as it leaves the launch pad . . . and that could take several minutes,” the Japan Times cites the official as saying. “Depending on the case, the warnings and alarms might only sound four or five minutes before a missile arrives.”
The Osaka mayor’s statement came after the government called on prefectural disaster and crisis officials “to make additional efforts to warn residents and establish their own plans” during a meeting in Tokyo.
In the event of a strike, the government recommends that citizens calmly go to the “strongest concrete building” nearby, stay “low to the floor,” or get under a table.
In Osaka guidelines issued separately, schoolchildren are advised to “get under their desks” and not to leave their classrooms, should a strike come during a school day.