Japanese Demand For Nuclear Shelters Soars Amid North Korea Tensions

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While Hawaiian officials are pushing to re-open fallout shelters, the people of another island (considerably closer, and well within range) are actively preparing for a worst case scenario from North Korea. As Reuters reports, sales of nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers have surged in Japan in recent weeks as North Korea has pressed ahead with missile tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

Japan is well within range of already-tested North Korean missiles…

 

And that has prompted aoring demand among the Japanese people…

A small company that specializes in building nuclear shelters, generally under people’s houses, has received eight orders in April alone compared with six orders during a typical year. The company, Oribe Seiki Seisakusho, based in Kobe, western Japan, also has sold out of 50 Swiss-made air purifiers, which are said to keep out radiation and poisonous gas, and is trying to get more, said Nobuko Oribe, the company’s director.

 

“It takes time and money to build a shelter. But all we hear these days, in this tense atmosphere, is that they want one now,” Oribe said. “They ask us to come right away and give them an estimate.”

 

A purifier designed for six people sells for 620,000 yen ($5,630) and one designed for 13 people and usually installed in a family-use shelter costs 1.7 million yen ($15,440).

 

Some orders for the shelters were placed by owners of small-sized companies for their employees, and others by families, Oribe said.

 

A nuclear shelter for up to 13 people costs about 25 million yen ($227,210) and takes about four months to build, he said.

 

The shelter his company offers is a reinforced, air-tight basement with an air purifier that can block radiation as well as poisonous gas. The room is designed to withstand a blast even when a Hiroshima-class nuclear bomb exploded just 660 meters away, Oribe said.

Concerns about a possible gas attack have grown in Japan after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliament session this month that North Korea may have the capacity to deliver missiles equipped with sarin nerve gas.

And the Japanese government is now urging local governments to hold evacuation drills in case of a possible missile attack, heightening a sense of urgency among the public.

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