Japan to resume ballistic missile drills

Japan to resume ballistic missile drills

The central government plans to resume evacuation drills to prepare for possible ballistic missile launches by North Korea, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.

The government plans to conduct the drills this summer, but the timing depends on the COVID- 19 situation, Matsuno said Friday.

The drills were carried out in 29 local governments between March 2017 and June 2018 under the civil protection law. There has been no such drills since the beginning of the month, amid signs of easing tensions over North Korea.

Pyongyang has increased its missile tests this year. A month ago, it fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan.

The government is considering resuming evacuation drills because North Korea has been launching ballistic and other missiles frequently since the beginning of the year, Matsuno told a news conference.