Earthquake drill held on Tokyo expressway

Emergency authorities in Tokyo have conducted a joint drill on expressways and highways based on the scenario of a major earthquake occurring beneath the capital.

Nine organizations took part in Sunday's drill. They included the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the Self-Defense Forces and the Tokyo Fire Department.

A stretch of about 7 kilometers of the Metropolitan Expressway was closed from 9 a.m. The drill assumed that cargo had been scattered from a truck.

Police officers arriving at the scene removed the objects and checked if there was any damage to the road.

After safety was confirmed, a convoy of 12 vehicles, including a fire engine, headed for the city center.

In the event of a major earthquake, traffic will be restricted on expressways and major national highways in the capital except for those permitted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Participants rehearsed emergency procedures at 106 locations, including crossings on national highways.

Tokyo police official Minowa Kenji said the drill also helped to inform the public about emergency traffic regulations.

Stressing the importance of preparation, he said related organizations plan to enhance cooperation.