Ordinance to define rescue, evacuation roles

The government said Friday it will tack an ordinance onto the public protection law Sept. 17 that defines the roles of the central and municipal governments in developing civilian evacuation and rescue plans in the event that Japan comes under attack.

At a Cabinet meeting Friday, the government also adopted a revised ordinance to enforce an emergency-contingency law that makes it obligatory for designated businesses to offer help in evacuating and rescuing civilians, officials said.

Earlier this week, a task force headed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda chose 160 businesses to serve as government-designated public facilities to assist with evacuations in emergencies.

Of the 160 businesses, the government listed in the ordinance the Bank of Japan, Japan Post, Japan Broadcasting Corp. and 36 other public interest-oriented entities. The remaining 121 businesses will be announced in an official bulletin to be issued Sept. 17.

On Friday, the Cabinet also adopted an ordinance that defines the procedures through which municipal government heads will collect the names and addresses of and degree of injury of individuals to make the information available to those requiring such data.

The government plans to draft guidelines for the public protection law in the current fiscal year to define such provisions as methods for conducting emergency drills and stockpiling supplies.