Helicopters landed for the first time ever in front of the Diet building on Sunday as officials conducted airlift drills in preparation of a major quake at the nation’s capital.

The drill was conducted by officials of the Cabinet Security Affairs Office so they can transport the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members to and from central government buildings in case a major earthquake hits Tokyo.

About 30 officials from the Defense Agency, National Police Agency and the Fire and Disaster Management Agency participated.

Three Self-Defense Forces helicopters practiced landing procedures in front of the Diet’s central entrance, with each aircraft landing twice. Certain drills were not conducted because of strong winds, officials said.

The government manual calls for Cabinet ministers to convene at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in the event of an earthquake of magnitude 5 or more.

Helicopters would be used to take ministers to and from the Prime Minister’s residence. and disaster command headquarters should roads and facilities in central Tokyo be rendered unusable.