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Japan holds evacuation drill amid tension from N. Korea

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/06/2017
Schoolchildren leave the compound of their school during an evacuation drill in Abu town, western Japan, Sunday, June 4, 2017. The town on Japan's northwestern coast conducted the drill amid rising fear that a North Korean ballistic missile could hit Japanese soil. (Kyodo News via AP) © The Associated Press Schoolchildren leave the compound of their school during an evacuation drill in Abu town, western Japan, Sunday, June 4, 2017. The town on Japan's northwestern coast conducted the drill amid rising fear that a North Korean ballistic missile could hit Japanese soil. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO — A Japanese town conducted an evacuation drill Sunday amid rising fear that a North Korean ballistic missile could hit Japanese soil.

More than 280 residents and schoolchildren from Abu, a small town with a population of just over 3,400 on Japan's western coast, rushed to designated school buildings to seek shelter after sirens from loudspeakers warned them of a possible missile flight and debris falling on them.

The drill follows three consecutive weeks of North Korean missile tests. Last week, a missile splashed into the sea inside Japan's 200-mile exclusive economic zone off the country's western coast.

It was the second such drill since March, when Tokyo instructed local governments to review their contingency plans and conduct evacuation exercises.

A similar drill was conducted Sunday in the neighboring prefecture of Fukuoka in southern Japan, and others are planned over the next few months.

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This story has been corrected to show Abu town is on Japan's western coast.

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