Japan has failed to make major progress in crafting plans to help evacuate elderly people and people with disabilities in the event of natural disasters, although nearly 13 years have passed since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck the country's northeast.

The massive earthquake that shook the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture on New Year's Day served as a reminder of the need for evacuation plans for such people, who would face difficulties evacuating by themselves if and when disaster strikes.

Municipalities across Japan are obliged to compile individual emergency evacuation plans for all people in need of assistance. But the proportion of municipalities that have finished creating such plans has remained below 10%.