• Kyodo


About seven out of every 10 people live in areas in Japan that are at risk of disasters such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, ground liquefaction or tsunami, government data show.

Those who live in such areas totaled an estimated 94.42 million or 73.7 percent of the country’s population which stood at around 128 million in 2010, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said in a recent report.

Such areas cover 131,400 sq. kilometers or 34.8 percent of the country’s total land areas, the report said.

The land ministry will use the data in compiling its national land formation plan which is expected to win Cabinet approval around this summer.

Earthquakes cover areas to at risk of being hit by powerful temblors logging lower 6 or above on the Japanese seismic scale of 7 in the coming 30 years.

The number of people expected to be hit by powerful temblors stands at 58.88 million, or 46.3 percent of the country’s total population, the report showed.

The number of people expected to be hit by ground liquefaction stands at 57.43 million, or 44.8 percent of the population, it said.

The National Land Development Council, an advisory body to the land minister, which is currently working on the national land formation plan, is discussing how to urge people to move to safer sites, government officials said.

In March 2011, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 9 and devastating tsunami hit eastern Japan, leaving more than 18,000 people dead or missing.

In August 2014, a heavy downpour hit the city of Hiroshima, causing landslides to strike communities and leaving 74 people dead.