The British Embassy in Tokyo and the Consulate in Osaka have been making a concerted effort to get British nationals in Japan to register with them. They are worried about what will happen if there is a major earthquake or some other kind of emergency. Information on how to register was posted on ELT News last week.
They are quite right, of course. It is very important for foreign nationals in Japan to register with our embassies. If we don't register, we can't expect any support.
I was always told there would never be a serious earthquake in Hiroshima and almost everybody here believed this myth until one day in March 2001. Very few people were killed that day, but we were certainly shaken out of our false sense of security. Most people in Kobe also believed they were not in any danger and so were woefully unprepared when the Hanshin Earthquake hit in 1996. The tremors only lasted 20 seconds, but over 6,000 people were killed.
It's going to happen again, and it could easily happen in your area. At the very least, those of us who are foreign nationals need to register with our embassies so we can be contacted and supported if anything does happen.