With just barely a year before the 2020 Tokyo Games, the government is expecting a surge in the number of tourists in the country, and has laid down new systems to help manage the numbers along with the influx of migrant workers through the latest immigration policy set to take into effect this April.
Part of the preparations includes how to organize steps to help foreign visitors in the event of an emergency such as a massive earthquake in Tokyo during the Tokyo Games.
Gov’t to Strengthen Help for Foreign Visitors in Event of Massive Tokyo Quake during 2020 Games
In line with this, the transport ministry shared last Tuesday (January 29) that it intends to boost measures to help foreign visitors in the event of a massive earthquake in the Tokyo area ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, as shared in a report by the Japan Times.
The ministry is looking to strengthen airports and railways’ quake resiliency to ensure the rapid return of foreign visitors, while introducing more signs with symbols to aid them locate exits and evacuation areas.
The ministry also plans to notify visitors about the possibility of an earthquake through its official website. The government is looking at around 10 million domestic and foreign visitors to arrive during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will run for around two weeks each from July 24 and August 25, respectively.
The government predicts a 70 percent chance of a magnitude 7 –class earthquake to occur directly beneath Tokyo within the next 30 years. The government is looking at the worst case wherein over tens and thousands of deaths (23,000) and the destruction of around 610,000 buildings would be expected.
As part of the government’s pre-emptive measures, it will set up a system to ensure the smooth transport of goods critical for disaster relief and recovery, and seek close cooperation from logistics companies and port operators.
It will also strengthen Technical Emergency Control Force (TEC-FORCE) operations to deliver immediate logistics and infrastructure assistance such as road repair.
TEC-FORCE is a group of specialized workers from the infrastructure ministry’s regional development bureaus nationwide.
In line with this framework, the government will coordinate with construction companies to have their employees undergo training so they can provide support with disaster relief and recovery.