Japan holds drills for natural disasters, and missiles too

Local residents take part in an emergency drill in the wake of repeated missile launches by North Korea, in Takikawa on Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, Sept 1, 2017. (Kyodo/via Reuters photo)

TOKYO -- Japan held annual exercises on Friday to prepare for disasters but this year it was not just the danger of earthquakes and tsunamis that was on the minds of many people - the threat of North Korean missiles also loomed large.

Japan is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries and it carries out disaster drills every year on Sept 1, the anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that killed at least 100,000 people and devastated Tokyo.

Military helicopters clattered over Tokyo as authorities practised for a 7.3 magnitude quake directly under the capital.

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