Yonaguni town assembly to ask Japan's govt. to set up evacuation shelters

Japan's westernmost island of Yonaguni is to ask the central government to set up evacuation shelters on the island, amid China's mounting pressure on Taiwan.

Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture is about 110 kilometers from Taiwan. Last August, six ballistic missiles landed in its nearby waters when China conducted military drills near Taiwan.

The Japanese government is considering evacuation shelters for residents in case of a missile attack involving Taiwan.

Last month the Yonaguni Town assembly approved a proposal asking Prime Minister Kishida Fumio to set up evacuation shelters on the remote island.

The proposal says Yonaguni is Japan's closest island to Taiwan. It says this geographical proximity is a cause of concern that the safety of residents could be threatened in the event of an attack involving Taiwan.

The assembly member who submitted the proposal and others say their representatives plan to go to Tokyo in February to hand-deliver it to the government.

A draft ordinance setting up a fund to cover emergency measures against an armed attack was approved at a regular town assembly meeting in September. In November, residents took part in their first evacuation drill simulating a ballistic missile launch.