Always the one to look forward, the Japanese government has admitted to the press today that they are drawing up lists of Japanese citizens present in South Korea for immediate evacuation should the tension between North Korea and the United States eventually lead to a military clash between the two nations.
The role of each ministry involved is to be detailed and discussed with the responsible cabinet members for the evacuation of the 38,000 Japanese nationals currently living in South Korea. According to a draft, the would all mainly be transported via civil aircrafts and vessels.
The feasibility of the scheme remains to be seen of course as it does not take into account any possible support of the US military for evacuating the Japanese nationals, most of whom reside near the South Korean capital Seoul, which lies just 25 miles from the north-south demilitarized zone where first fire is expected in case of war.
Tensions in the region have been high this year due to the continued testing of ballistic missiles by the North Korean regime of Kim Jun Un. Those missiles have been fired at ever longer ranges, heightening the insecurity for the region.
There has also been an ever greater escalating war of words between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, both of whom have hurled insults towards the other.
China has been asked to act as a mediator, but regional onlookers fear the Beijing government has either lost control over the North Korean regime or is simply unwilling to help as the fact that both Japan and the US are preoccupied with worrying over North Korea suits them just fine.
The North Koreans meanwhile have become more and more isolated from the rest of the world whilst some of their citizens are either fleeing the country or showing up on beaches in Japan (as happened earlier this week).