Japan Revises Policy on Return Home after Major Quake

Society

Tokyo, Aug. 26 (Jiji Press)--A panel of Japan’s Cabinet Office released on Friday a new policy on measures for those who would have difficulties returning home after major earthquakes, including helping such people head home once train services have resumed early.

The Cabinet Office plans to revise related government guidelines within a year based on the new policy, which assumes a powerful quake that may occur directly beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The current government guidelines call on people to refrain from starting to move around unnecessarily, such as trying to return home en masse, for three days after major earthquakes in principle, in order to prioritize rescue operations and prevent secondary disasters.

While maintaining the principle, the new policy called for discussions on specific measures to help people return home safely if railways resume services early after strong earthquakes. In recent years, railways have become more earthquake-resistant, resuming services within three days even in a case where the quake intensity reached lower 6, the third highest on the Japanese seismic scale.

The panel stressed the need to respond flexibly depending on the extent of damage and train operation conditions, in light of progress in digital technology.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press