Firms named for wartime cooperation

The government on Tuesday named 160 organizations, including commercial airlines and private broadcasters, as “designated public entities” from which it can demand cooperation during war-related emergencies.

The designation completes the preconditions for enforcing a law to protect the public in the event of war. The law will take effect Sept. 17, government officials said.

The law focuses on the protection of civilian lives and assets in the event of an emergency in which governors are empowered to issue evacuation orders.

The law is one of seven supplementing three war-contingency laws defining the government’s response to an attack or threat of attack.

The government told NHK as well as 19 private broadcasters nationwide to help disseminate warning notices if needed.

The government originally sought to exclude private broadcasters over their concern their independence would be compromised if they had to obey state orders.

However, they were included because the government believes quick and comprehensive dissemination of warnings will be necessary in emergencies, according to officials.

The government also named airlines and long-range ferry services as “designated public entities” because the existing antidisaster law stipulates only ground transportation services as such aid entities, which the government apparently thinks is not enough for extensive and large-scale transport of personnel and goods.

The government is expected to compile a basic policy on the law that will designate within the current fiscal year concrete civilian evacuation procedures, and for drills and the stockpiling of equipment and resources to prepare for emergencies.