How To Survive Nuclear War: Japan Warns Citizens About North Korea Attack

Japan is on red-alert in the face of North Korea's repeated missile tests, with ten launches by Pyongyang during 2017 including one in which a Hwasong-12 rocket reached an altitude of more than 1,300 miles and landed in just 200 miles off the Japamese coast. 

Japan is now readying itself in case of nuclear attack and the government has published advice on how citizens can survive. They have been told that if inside a building, they must lie down on the floor, protect their heads, and stay away from windows. Citizens will be alerted by a public address system currently used for alerting cities to earthquakes and tsunamis.

Detailed instructions on how to keep safe in the event of nuclear attack are being aired by 43 television stations, while 70 newspapers are publishing details of key ways citizens can protect themselves, between now and July, Kyodo News reported.

Japan prepare nuclear Elementary school students squat down on the street as they participate in an evacuation drill for local residents based on the scenario that a ballistic missile launched landed in Japanese waters, in Oga, Akita prefecture, Japan March 17, 2017. Kyodo/via REUTERS

Bomb shelter sales have increased in Japan and there is now a waiting list despite the $250,000 price tag. The company, Oribe Seiki Seisakusho, based in Kobe, has sold out of 50 Swiss-made air purifiers, which are said to keep out radiation and poisonous gas and cost $5,630.

Japan can protect itself from missiles using the Aegis anti-missile system, which is used by Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force. But can only intercept missiles flying at 650 miles rendering it useless against the Hwasong-12.  

Read more: Japan prepares 'hit-to-kill' missiles

Self-defence forces also have the Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missile intercept, but again, it would struggle to intercept a missile travelling as quickly as the Hwasong-12, according to the Nikkei Review.

In April, Japan held evacuation drills in schools, which was the first time since the Second World War the government had informed citizens how to stay safe in the event of an attack.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced that North Korea might send sarin-tipped missiles towards Japan, a potent and lethal nerve gas. Sarin was used by a Japanese doomsday cult in 1995 to kill 12 people and injured thousands on Tokyo subway trains.

Japan is believed to be a target for North Korea as it plays host to around 50,000 American troops, most of which are stationed in Okinawa Island at a U.S. airbase. After the Second World War, Japan was not permitted to create its own military, so the United States has a heavy presence in the country.