People around Japan are spreading news of the J-Alert System and the manual that explains what to do in the event of an armed attack.
It was only two years ago when the Tokyo Metroplitan Government sent out disaster preparedness manuals to its residents to inform them about what to do in the event of a disaster, with tips on how to prepare survival kits, advice about first-aid, and instructions on how to create things like emergency toilets and stoves using only minimal materials.
With the most advanced earthquake early-warning system in the world, residents can be notified of an impending tremor or tidal wave in advance, giving them time to evacuate and implement the safety plans set out in these types of manuals.
But what happens if the impending threat is not from the natural world but from an outside nation instead? That’s where the government’s J-Alert system steps in. Initially introduced in 2007, the J-Alert is designed to transmit information from the government to residents via email, outdoor speakers and administrative municipalities in the event of an incident.
In the past, the J-Alert system has been used when North Korea launched its ballistic missiles, providing information about the launches and their trajectories via email to those registered to receive the J-Alert via one of the country’s many disaster prevention information apps. However, in the event of a much more imminent threat to Japanese soil, a “national protection siren” will sound as part of more drastic measures to safeguard residents in an armed attack situation.
You can hear the sound of the siren below:
The Cabinet Secretariat Civil Protection Portal Site, which helps to run the J-Alert System, has put together a wide range of informative diagrams and manuals – in Japanese and English – outlining the steps that should be taken by residents in the event of an armed attack.
▼ Characteristics of “Armed Attack Situations” are pictured below.
One of the most insightful documents that can be found on the portal site is a manual called “Protecting Ourselves Against Armed Attacks and Terrorism“. According to the document, when an area under threat has been identified, the siren will sound from loudspeakers in that region and warnings will be broadcast over the speakers and on television and radio to alert residents.
Whether indoors or outdoors, certain procedures should be followed, with residents asked to remain calm at all times.
Evacuation procedures will vary depending on the type of armed attack taking place.
The manual goes on to provide information on what to do in the event of chemical warfare and nuclear explosions, along with first aid instructions and advice on what to take with you to an emergency shelter. Though it’s an unsettling read, the topics covered in the manual are all part of Japan’s Civil Protection Law, which is designed to protect the “lives, bodies, and property of the people from armed attack against Japan from the outside”.
With heightened tensions in the region at the moment, the J-Alert System is being widely discussed online and in local media. Many are taking the government’s advice to further increase their understanding about what to do if an armed attack against Japan should occur as “preparations for such a situation should be fully discussed in peacetime”.
To find out more about Japan’s Civil Protection Law and the systems in place to help safeguard residents, visit the Cabinet Secretariat Civil Protection Portal Site for more details.