About 100 school children and their parents are holding a clean-up on the field of the local elementary school in this small fishing and farming town of Abu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. An alarm warns of an impending missile attack, and they all run for the school gymnasium, on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
The siren “rang all of a sudden while we were picking grass, so that scared me,” said Taison Ito, a 10-year-old fifth grader.
North Korea has been increasing the number of its missile test launches in recent months, launching 12 so far this year and three last month, with many falling into the Sea of Japan. It is estimated that it would take about 10 minutes for a North Korean missile to reach Japan, but it would take a few minutes for the government to alert local authorities and the public about the launch. The school children are told to get to safety in three minutes.
The drills are held to raise awareness and make sure the basic procedure is understood. “It’s hard to say how many people will be saved and how much effect it will have.” Says, retired Vice Admiral Yoji Koda “But, the survival rate will definitely be higher,”