Japan alert system isn’t prepared for missile test, Asahi says

03-Apr-2009 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Japan’s emergency alert system won’t be able to cope should the government try to use it for the planned launch by North Korea of a rocket, the Asahi newspaper reported, citing local authorities.

The so-called J-Alert system, introduced to two-years ago to alert the population about earthquakes, tsunamis and other emergencies, hasn’t been installed in more than 80% of the country’s municipalities, the Asahi said.

Many town councils and other local governments don’t have enough funds to relay the alerts to public address systems, the Asahi said. Some municipalities told the Asahi they wouldn’t relay warnings from the central government till they confirmed the information. The government is unlikely to use the system because it doesn’t believe the rocket launch is directed at Japan, the Asahi said.

North Korea said last month it plans to fire a rocket carrying a satellite into orbit between April 4 and 8. Japan suspects the launch is a cover for a test of a long-range ballistic missile, which would be a breach of a United Nations resolution, and has called on North Korea to abandon the plan.


Category: Japan

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