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Upgrade likely for Japanese broadcaster’s disaster warning system ABU News Group told

Japan’s National Public Broadcaster NHK is looking seriously at upgrading its disaster coverage domestically and globally.

According to Mr Takehiko Kusaba from the NHK newsroom, disaster coverage and reporting has been a vital mission for NHK since 1923. He said as a public broadcaster his organisation played an important role in providing accurate messages and information to the public on time.

“We are not satisfied with our coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in March last year,” he said, “therefore we have a few logistic initiatives to upgrade our coverage on disasters in the future”.

“NHK has learnt lessons from the previous disaster and we came up with an Automatic Disaster Warning System, an Automatic Script Generating System, an NHK Helicopter Network and a Backup System which will help NHK with its disaster coverage and reporting in the future. We are also improving our announcements to urge people to evacuate by stressing a sense of crisis’’.

Currently NHK has 470 remote controlled cameras nationwide and 14 helicopters at 12 stations around the country.

Mr Kusaba was sharing NHK’s experiences and lessons learned from the great earthquake with ABU members from Asia-Pacific countries attending the ABU News Group Workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, hosted by Vietnam Television (VTV).