TOKYO, Dec. 1 (Kyodo) — The Tokyo metropolitan government on Monday held a drill involving about 170 people on the assumption the capital was under attack by terrorists unleashing the smallpox virus on the subway, metropolitan government officials said.
The scenario, which was not explained to participants beforehand, had a public health office reporting eight people with smallpox following an apparent terror attack. The city leadership held an emergency meeting, tried to determine the facts of the matter and isolate victims to prevent the virus from spreading.
Officials, firefighters and rescue workers were evaluated on their reaction. Cooperation among relevant metropolitan departments and agencies was also assessed.
After analyzing their performance, the metropolitan government will compile a manual for measures against terrorism involving nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons.
Tokyo has been making efforts to come up with ways to handle NBC terrorism, especially after the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the AUM Shinrikyo cult.
Last month, Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network warned that Japanese would be targeted in attacks if Japan sends troops to assist in the reconstruction of Iraq.