• Kyodo

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The Foreign Ministry has launched an information service system that enables Japanese living or traveling in North America to leave messages for families and friends when a state of emergency has been declared.

Currently, more than 1 million Japanese live outside of Japan. Of them, 40 percent, or about 400,000 people, are in North America. In addition, more than 3 million Japanese visit North America every year.

The system, which cost $290,000, is activated only in the event of a major emergency. The system can use more than 200 phone lines on three long-distance telephone companies’ networks to ensure reliable connections.

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