Japan, while famous for its cherry blossoms and ancient shrines, is also known in history for its devastating earthquakes and tsunamis. As these disasters have often claimed the lives of many, the government is set to build quake-resistant railways as the country moves to better disaster preparedness.
The draft of a disaster preparedness plan has indicated numerous measures that aim to prevent heavier impact of natural disasters. An actual numerical target has been set for the measures indicated, which the government will check and review annually for reporting to the public. As the public is the most susceptible to earthquake damages, Japan hopes to increase the number of quake-resistant houses in 2020 by 95 percent in contrast with the 79 percent in 2008.
It also mentions making railways in quake-threatened areas resistant by 2017. The budget allocation for construction of tunnels and bridges that are tough enough to hold out the natural disasters will be included in the budget meeting for 2015 as the government will subsidize a portion of the expenses by the train companies. After the 2011 disaster, around 91 percent of bridges and tunnels in train lines are hardened against quakes but others still remain susceptible to damage and accidents should an earthquake occur any moment, which could still affect and hamper daily commute.
[ via Kyodo News ]