Nearly 90% of public schools deemed quake resistant

Kyodo

The government says 88.9 percent of the country’s public elementary and junior high school buildings are up to code for withstanding a strong earthquake, an improvement of 4.1 percentage points from a year earlier.

The percentage roughly doubled from 44.5 percent in the first research in 2002. The latest survey covered 120,460 buildings, including gymnasiums, as of April 1.

The education ministry also found that 2,504 buildings were considered susceptible to collapse in the event of a strong quake. The figure was 3,545 the year before.

The education ministry is aiming to make all public school buildings quake-resistant by fiscal 2015. Such buildings are often designated as emergency evacuation centers.

By prefecture, Shizuoka had the best ratio of quake-resistant school buildings, at 99.2 percent. Of the 2,504 buildings susceptible to collapse in a strong quake, Hokkaido had the most, with 251.