The government recommended Friday that the public stockpile several days’ worth of food and water at the year’s end as a precaution against the Year 2000 computer problem.
“We believe there will be no widespread confusion,” the government said in presenting an 11-point list of precautions aimed at the public.
“But it is important for each of you to make preparations in case of unexpected emergencies, including minor or short-term inconveniences,” a message accompanying the list says.
The list was made public after a government task force approved it Friday morning. It will appear in the form of advertisements in national newspapers today.
The government reported earlier this week that it is highly unlikely that any malfunction will cause confusion because most key industries have completed checking and modifying their computer systems.
But it pointed out the possibility of minor problems.
The list of recommendations was issued by the Advanced Information and Telecommunications Society Promotion Headquarters, headed by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.
The government recommends that the public backup data of transactions with financial institutions and keep receipts and bills issued by commercial institutions.
Those who take medicine or use medical equipment at home should consult with their doctors before New Year’s. Tests have confirmed that life-support devices such as pacemakers will have no problems, the government says.
Home appliances with computer-controlled dates may have clock problems, so users are advised to contact manufacturers or check their Web sites.
The Y2K problem could cause older computer systems that recognize years entries only by the last two digits to crash or spew out incorrect data on Jan. 1 if they interpret the year as “1900.”
The government also advises the public and private sectors not to use telephones or the Internet just to check if they are working right at the critical time.
Those who plan to go abroad over New Year’s should carefully make travel plans and get the latest information about their destinations. They also should check if their travel insurance covers damage inflicted by Y2K glitches.
The message also warns about sales aimed at exploiting public concern about the millennium problem, calling on people “to be doubly careful not to be a victim of such acts.”
Small and midsize firms are recommended to backup their business data and build a network for crisis management.
The government recommendations and telephone numbers for Y2K issues are available in English on a government Web site at http://www.kantei.go.
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