Kajiyama says bikes, phones musts for ministers

Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiroku Kajiyama said Feb. 7 that he has instructed each Cabinet minister to have a bicycle and a mobile phone as part of the government’s efforts to increase preparation for massive disasters.

The government’s top spokesman said bicycles will be used when it is impossible for ministers to come to the Prime Minister’s Official Residence by car or other public transport because of such emergencies as an earthquake. Normally, Cabinet ministers gather at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence at a time of emergency.

It was not clear how effective bicycles will become in a crisis. Kajiyama himself said jokingly it is not known whether every Cabinet minister can ride a bicycle.