As tensions in northeast Asia continue to escalate, Japan has reportedly seen a surge in demand for nuclear bomb shelters and air purifiers capable of eliminating radioactive and chemical toxicity from breathable air, as reported by the Telegraph.
Officials in Japan have begun preparing their citizens for a potential missile strike initiated by North Korea. However, officials say they may only be alerted to an incoming missile about 10 minutes before impact.
Authorities in Tokyo have called for legislative amendments that would pave the way for mandatory evacuations in the main cities across Japan. The country's regional disaster management has also requested that national drills be carried out to ensure the safe and efficient protection of citizens in the event of an attack.
There has been an apparent upswing in visits to Japan's civil protection website which is maintained by the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat, seeing an increase in nearly 3 million site views since March this year.
The possibility of a World War 3-type of scenario originating in the Korean region of northeast Asia has risen significantly in recent weeks, but concerns have peaked in the wake of Prime Minster Shinzo Abe's announcement that North Korea may well have the technology to create warheads containing nerve gas.
According to Japan's intelligence analysis, potential targets for an attack would be U.S. military bases stationed in Nagasaki, Yokosuka, and Yokohama, with the latter being in the vicinity of Tokyo. Envoys from South Korea, China, and America, have gathered in Tokyo to discuss military policy towards increasingly brazen threats by Kim Jong-un's regime.
South Korean media agencies have reported that a massive deployment of long-range artillery units has arrived in the Wonsan region in the North to perform a live-fire drill.
Demand for nuclear protection at an all-time high
Suppliers of nuclear bunkers and air filters have mentioned that they cannot currently meet the high demand for the niche safety equipment and structures. Shota Hayashi, speaking on behalf of Japan's shelter manufacturer Oribe Seiki Seisakusho, commented on the company's high volume of inquiries.
"A year ago, we were getting maybe five calls a day about air purifiers, but it is 30 a day now. Virtually all of the calls are from people who want to install the filters at their homes rather than businesses. Some people are very frightened by what is going on at the moment."Oribe Seiki Seisakusho nuclear shelters come with at a hefty $225,500, but customers do not seem to be deterred by the price tag. The long waiting list is the only major concern, as Japanese citizens are eager to have the bunkers installed underneath their homes.
Evacuation drills for Japan's schools
Schools in Japan have begun to put measures in place to protect staff and students. A school in Yokohama near Tokyo echoed an alert that was issued by Japan's government.
"As a result of heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States, there has been a precautionary warning by the government of Japan that North Korea may launch a missile and it may be directed at Japan."Evacuation procedures will be triggered by the sounding of alarms, and an emergency announcement made by the head of each particular school will urge students and teachers to proceed to the school's assembly building to take shelter until such a time as an all-clear has been given.
As for members of the public, people have been advised to seek refuge inside sturdy buildings or any underground facilities that are open to the public. If anyone is caught outdoors, they should immediately lie flat on the ground to avoid potential debris flying through the air.
The White House Responds
Last week, the White House issued an embarrassingly false statement stating that America's flagship aircraft carrier was headed for the South China sea when in fact it was performing drills with Australian Navy vessels in the Pacific. Today, however, the USS Carl Vinson, flanked by an armada of U.S. warships, is confirmed to be steaming its way to the Korean peninsula to take part in a series of military drills with Japan's navy forces.
This development comes in addition to the USS Michigan, one of the world's largest submarines, having docked in South Korea's Busan port. According to the U.S. Pacific Fleet's website, the USS Michigan is one of four "Ohio-class guided-missile submarines." Measuring over 560 feet long and weighing more than 18,000 tons, the behemoth allows the Navy to strike targets with unprecedented precision and provides state-of-the-art stealth capabilities.
On Monday, in an unprecedented move, the White House announced that President Donald Trump had summoned all 100 U.S. senators to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for an important briefing. Senior Trump administration officials, including Jim Mattis, Rex Tillerson, and the Joint Chiefs, will divulge top secret information with regards to national security matters.
Senators were baffled by the announcement as such briefings are traditionally held in a highly secure auditorium underneath the U.S. Capitol building. Sometimes a limited number of lawmakers are included in meetings in the West Wing briefing room, but never before has a top secret event been carried out on this scale.
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP Images]