Tokyo could be replaced as Japan’s capital in the event of a disastrous quake by any of five major cities in the country, according to a government panel that will soon publish its preliminary conclusions.
The five cities are Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Sendai and Fukuoka, according to the Japanese press. The cities already have branch offices of the government and Bank of Japan, and other facilities that can be easily converted into emergency headquarters.
The conclusions will be published by a task force that studied emergency response under the Central Disaster Prevention Council. According to the draft interim report, a powerful quake could cause serious damage to core political, administrative and economic life, which would “affect our country’s fate”.
The task force will also recommend the government to make backups of critical data to be used in case of disaster, at the emergency headquarters.
The panel is changing a previous recommendation saying that in case of disaster the prime minister’s office and other government offices would be moved to Tachikawa, in western Tokyo, at 30 km from the capital’s centre. The city was considered to be too close to Tokyo, so the risk to suffer severe damages is high.