Nearly 23,000 buildings at public primary and middle schools around the country, except for the three quake-hit prefectures in Tohoku, are not sufficiently earthquake resistant or have not been checked for earthquake resistance, the education ministry has said.
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry announced recently the status of earthquake-resistance repairs and construction on public schools in Tokyo, Hokkaido and 42 other prefectures as of April 1.
The ministry was unable to examine buildings in the three prefectures due to the aftermath of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
The ministry earlier announced that all public primary and middle school buildings in the country will be earthquake resistant by the end of fiscal 2015.
Out of 116,397 buildings, including main school buildings and gymnasiums, 22,911 buildings, or about 20 percent, are insufficient in terms of being earthquake resistant, or have had no earthquake-resistance examinations.
Of those, 4,614 buildings were categorized as highly likely to collapse in an earthquake with an intensity of upper 6 or more, according to the ministry.
Out of the 44 prefectures examined, 80.3 percent of buildings are equipped with sufficient earthquake resistance, up seven percentage points from one year ago, marking the largest ever year-on-year increase.
While prefectures such as Shizuoka (98.2 percent), Kanagawa (97.7 percent) and Aichi (95.5 percent) have quite high earthquake-resistance retrofit rates, the figures were much lower in Hokkaido (69 percent) and six other prefectures such as Hiroshima (59.1 percent), Yamaguchi (61.7 percent) and Ibaraki (64.1 percent).
There are 35 cities, including some ordinance-designated special cities, that have 100 or more buildings with insufficient earthquake resistance or had undergone no earthquake-resistance examinations. Kitakyushu had 460 such buildings, while Sapporo had 267. The 35 cities have 6,089 such buildings, or 27 percent of the 22,911 buildings.