Because there are so many earthquakes in Japan, I expected schools to have earthquake standards. I was surprised when I read that nearly 100% of Japan's public elementary and junior high school buildings meet those earthquake resistence standards. That is amazing.
In 2002, only 44.5% of Japanese public school buildings were earthquake-resistant. By 2018 (after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011), that rate had increased to 99%.
According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in April 2021, 99.6% of 114,410 elementary and junior high school buildings, gymnasiums, and other facilities in Japan have been retrofitted against earthquakes with a seismic intensity of 6 or higher. There are still 88 municipalities that have yet to complete earthquake proofing (444 buildings across Japan).
Nineteen prefectures, including Miyagi, Akita, Tochigi, Saitama, Chiba, Kyoto, and Kumamoto, have a 100% quake-resistance rate for school buildings. The prefecture with the lowest rate is Okinawa with 96.8%. The quake resistance rates for other types of public schools are also high, with 97.1% for kindergartens, 99.1% for high schools, and 99.7% for special needs schools.
Where I grew up, earthquakes were not common, but tornados were. I wonder how safe the school buildings of my childhood were.