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Japan Holds Disaster Drills on Earthquake Anniversary - 2003-09-01

More than 1.3 million people across Japan held disaster drills Monday on the 80th anniversary of the worst earthquake in the nation's history.

The capital, Tokyo, and four neighboring prefectures held a joint drill assuming that an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale had struck the area.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi issued a mock earthquake warning on live television, saying that large numbers of people were dead or missing and that the quake would seriously affect the national economy.

The exercise is held annually, but this year fell on the 80th anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake that killed 100,000 people in 1923.