People in Japan Tense after N. Korean Missile Firing


Sapporo/Aomori/Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--Blaring sirens alarmed people in Japan after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the Japanese archipelago for the first time in five years on Tuesday.

Officials of the Hokkaido and Aomori prefectural governments were busy as the central government alerted residents through its J-Alert early warning system while the safety of ships and crews at sea was also a focus of attention.

Phones were ringing off the hook from the morning at the crisis management division of the government of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan. Officials hurriedly gathered information and wrote down what was going on a whiteboard.

"We're contacting each municipal government, organizations related to disaster prevention and the Self-Defense Forces," an official in charge said.

Dressed in a disaster relief garment, Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki arrived at the prefectural government office in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, around 9:20 a.m. (12:20 a.m. GMT), and told reporters, "I've instructed (people concerned) to thoroughly check the safety of airplanes and vessels related to Hokkaido."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press