As tensions and fears over a possible nuclear attack or devastating war rise in Southeast Asia, the Japanese are reportedly taking no chances and preparing for the worst as sales and orders of nuclear shelters and air purifiers capable of blocking radiation have jumped over the last several weeks, Reuters reported Monday.
Oribe Seiki Seisakusho, a small company based in Kobe, Japan, said it had already taken eight orders to build nuclear shelters this month, compared to six such orders for any given year. It has also sold out of 50 Swiss-made air purifiers designed to thwart radiation and poisonous gas and the company is still attempting to find more to fill orders, its director told Reuters.
“It takes time and money to build a shelter. But all we hear these days, in this tense atmosphere, is that they want one now,” director Nobuko Oribe said. “They ask us to come right away and give them an estimate.”
The cost of such equipment and improved infrastructure does not run cheap. One air purifier to protect six people costs $5,630 and one for as many as 13 people in a single shelter goes for $15,440. Some shelters able to house very large groups can run $227,210 and require four months of construction.
The growing concern and boost in business comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned earlier this month that North Korea may have the ability to fire off missiles armed with the nerve agent sarin.
“There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to put sarin on warheads to strike the ground,” Abe told the Japanese parliament’s diplomacy and defense committee. He did not cite any specific evidence that the North possessed the lethal and illegal chemical agent.
Kim Jong Un’s regime launched four missiles toward Japan on March 6, which crashed into the Sea of Japan after traveling some 620 miles. Early reports indicated three of the missiles landed between 186 to 217 miles from Japan’s Oga peninsula.
More recently, North Korea threatened Sunday to destroy a U.S. aircraft carrier with a “single strike,” as the authoritarian nation attempts to stave off demands to stop its nuclear and missile defense programs.