Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency has decided to add a missile warning to the country’s emergency alert system “J-alert”, which has previously been used to warn of earthquakes and tsunami threats.
All customers of Japan’s three major cellular carriers, NTT Docomo, KDDI AU and Softbank, are automatically enrolled in the alert system. Local governments have the small number of cellphone non-owners covered via the loudspeaker announcement systems that are in place throughout the country.
Does Japan face any real threat of missile strike? Probably not, but if the ultra-right leaning government continues to upset the neighbors, who knows? This author cannot think that adding the missile threat to the J-Alert system has a lot more to do with bolstering the Abe government’s chances of getting military-related constitutional changes rammed through parliament – which would no doubt be much easier to do with an uneasy, fearful public.
Incidentally, the one time that the J-Alert system alerted your author to impending disaster, it was when he was in a tsunami-prone area. It turned out to be a false alarm – which was never canceled.
[Image: Dave Granlund]