18 September 2017

News Story: Wide-ranging J-Alert missile warning causes confusion in Japan

The "J-Alert" emergency warning that was issued by the government across 12 prefectures following North Korea's ballistic missile launch on Sept. 15 was more informative than previous warnings, but its wide scope caused confusion.

Following the warning, trains across northern and eastern Japan were temporarily postponed, and television stations switched to programs related to the missile launch -- affecting people's daily activities.

A mid-ranking disaster management official at the Nagano Prefectural Government commented, "This time, the warning (on the missile's flight path) stated specifically that it would go 'over the Hokkaido region and into the Pacific ocean.' It was clear from this message that Nagano Prefecture wouldn't be affected, and hence, the warning did not cause anxiety in this region."

However, the manager also points out that some cities, towns and villages in the prefecture voiced concerns that the warning area was too vast, which made people feel uneasy. "They should be more specific on the path of such a missile," he said.

Read the full story at The Mainichi