Free missile launch alerts to be sent to mobile devices

Kyodo

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency will begin sending text messages about ballistic missile launches and other relevant events to mobile phones and smartphones on April 1.

The messages will be sent to all customers in areas affected by the notification who use Docomo, au and Softbank Mobile — the three major mobile phone companies — as part of the J-Alert emergency advisory service, the agency said in a press release Friday.

The missile information is an addition to the J-Alert platform, which issues information on strong earthquakes and tsunami from the Meteorological Agency. No registration is required and the information is free of charge, the agency under the International Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

North Korea fired two medium-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday, following a series of short-range rocket launches earlier in the month.