Quake drill capital idea for foreigners
By Stephen Taylor / Daily Yomiuri Staff Writer
As the nation remembered the Great Hanshin
Earthquake of 1995, an event to educate and inform foreign companies in the
Marunouchi area of Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward of disaster contingency plans should an
earthquake hit the capital was held Wednesday.
The Foreigners and Ex-workers Emergency Evacuation
Drill was attended by about 50 members of the foreign community, including
representatives from financial institutions and foreign embassies, as well as
Japanese volunteers that used to work in the area.
The drill was organized by Tokyo Central Station
Commuter Corps, a group that aims to provide on-the-spot information before the
wheels of government start turning once disaster strikes.
Participants were shown various aspects of
survival, such as first aid, emergency food and evacuation sites.
At Meiji Yasuda Plaza hall, the Tokyo Fire
Department's Marunouchi station demonstrated the correct use of an automated
external defibrillator on a dummy and gave attendees the chance to try it for
There was a chance to sample dishes made from
emergency food rations, such as rice powder and canned fish, and the quality of
the food offered at Meiji Yasuda Plaza foyer was very good, especially the
minced chicken and seaweed quiche.
Some firms have already stockpiled supplies.
"We've issued staff with individual
packs...that gives them enough food and water and provisions for three
days," Andrew Holmes, of Nikko Citigroup Ltd. said.
Toilet facilities in any crisis affect everyone,
and at one of Chiyoda Ward's evacuation areas, the east area of the Imperial
Palace, participants were shown how an improvised device would be fitted over a
manhole in the event of an earthquake.
As secretary general of the Commuter Corps,
Shigeaki Mori is aware of the need to act quickly in a crisis and stressed the
need to take action.
"We are all moving and don't stay in one
area. Therefore, we must prepare for such a contingency," he said.