Amid the changing security environment around Japan, including the situation surrounding Taiwan, evacuation drills were held for the first time on the island of Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture, which is located in the westernmost part of Japan, assuming an incoming ballistic missile.

Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture is the westernmost island in Japan, about 110 kilometers from Taiwan. Missiles fell into the surrounding sea.

The training on the 30th, which was held amid concerns about rising tensions over Taiwan, was conducted jointly by the national government, the prefecture, and Yonaguni Town, assuming the possibility of a ballistic missile being launched from a foreign country. 22 residents, including

At 10:00 a.m., a siren sounded on the disaster prevention radio and voices calling for evacuation were heard. Residents who were outside scurried to the evacuation center community center and crouched in a place with no windows to protect themselves from the blast. rice field.

In the afternoon, a drill was held at the town office to confirm the initial response. I also answered phone calls from residents.

A resident in his 40s who participated in the drill said, "I'm glad I participated in the drill because I wouldn't know what to do if a missile suddenly came."

Another resident said, "Missiles are like a powerful typhoon coming in 10 minutes, and it is impossible to deal with it at that time."

Kenichi Itokazu, the mayor of Yonaguni Town, said, "Unlike normal disaster prevention drills, I felt that it was a race against time. After all, we need a shelter in a place where we can jump right in, such as our garden."

Residents voiced their support for the drills and questioned their effectiveness

On Yonaguni Island, there were voices of support from the residents and voices of skepticism about the effectiveness of ballistic missile drills.

Among them, a woman in her 60s said, "North Korea and China's missiles are scary. I think training is necessary."

A man in his 70s said, "I'm not talking about opposing or agreeing, but I don't think we can protect the townspeople even if we do this now."

A man in his 60s said, "I'm not saying that training is unnecessary, but I doubt if such vague training is effective. I think they want to show that they've done the training." was

Movements surrounding Yonaguni Island

Yonaguni Island is the westernmost island in Japan, measuring 12 kilometers from east to west and 4 kilometers from north to south.

The distance from Taiwan is about 110 kilometers, and depending on the day, you can see the shadow of Taiwan with the naked eye.

Self-Defense Force units are deployed on the island.

A garrison was established in 2016 ahead of the surrounding islands for the purpose of strengthening the defense capabilities of the Nansei Islands.

Military activities are intensifying on the island and its surroundings against the backdrop of the conflict between the United States and China.

In August this year, when China resented the visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and conducted large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, six ballistic missiles fell into the surrounding sea. The closest fell into the sea 80 kilometers from the island.

In addition, at the Japan-US joint joint exercise "Keen Sword" held this month, the US military conducted training for the first time to establish a liaison office with the Self-Defense Forces at the Yonaguni Garrison, as well as a Ground Self-Defense Force combat vehicle with the same firepower as a tank. was transported to Yonaguni Airport and ran on public roads for the first time in Okinawa Prefecture.

At Yonaguni Garrison, joint training by the Ground Self-Defense Force and the US military is being held again from the 28th.