Japan's govt. to build, improve emergency shelters

The Japanese government plans to better protect the public in an emergency, such as a contingency in Taiwan. Officials have decided on a basic policy for building new shelters in parts of Okinawa Prefecture, and improving other evacuation facilities nationwide.

They say the new shelters will be designed to withstand a missile blast. They will be made of reinforced concrete, with walls measuring more than 30 centimeters thick.

The facilities would provide about two square meters of space per person, and carry enough supplies for about two weeks.

Officials say the shelters will be built on Okinawa Prefecture's Sakishima Islands, which are close to Taiwan.

Construction will be left to local authorities in the cities of Ishigaki and Miyakojima, the towns of Yonaguni and Taketomi, and Tarama village. Financial support will come from the central government.

The officials say more than 56,000 designated evacuation points nationwide will also be upgraded.