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Japan at the forefront of Emergency Warning

NHK is continuously improving its technologies for the dissemination of Early Warning (EW) for prompt evacuation in case of disasters. Japan being a disaster-prone country has a lot to share to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of disaster preparedness.

Toshiyuki Sato from NHK-Japan who moderated the first morning session recalled that NHK has recently been recognised as IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Milestone. M. Iwaki, T Ozawa and T. Kuramata shared the experiences of NHK at different levels. The Japanese public broadcaster wants ‘Real Time Warning and Alerts’ and with the collaboration of JMA – Japan Meteorological  Association, its wants to make sure that all radio and television broadcast programmes are suspended and replaced by emergency news in case of disasters.  The affected people should be informed about evacuation, shelter and lifeline (water and electricity) matters before, during and after the disaster. Such information  is disseminated in an attempt to save human lives. Other digital tools are also used such as smartphones, portable robot camera and social media.

NHK is also presently enhancing the use of Information Technology for disaster preparedness. Panellists at this NHK Masterclass session also spoke about the latest technologies to help disabled people in case of disasters. Here the focus is on speech recognition and the Sign Language CG System.

Discussions were also focused on the use of digital radio to reach people even in far remote regions. Here also, radio programmes are stopped to allow the urgent broadcast of early warning signal in multiple languages. The screen remains flashing when text messages are shown during the alarm signal.