The Fire and Disaster Management Agency plans to ask municipalities this month to adopt at least two methods for transmitting emergency messages from the J-Alert warning system, sources said Thursday.
As of August, 14 percent of the municipalities in Japan were using only one communication channel for J-Alert, an agency survey found. Some of these governments were unable to send out emergency information due to equipment malfunctions, the agency discovered during a nationwide J-Alert drill in November.
The agency hopes that using multiple communication channels, including TVs, will allow residents to receive crucial information about missile attacks or natural disasters wherever they are, the sources said.
Municipalities with outdoor broadcasting equipment used in conjunction with disaster radio systems will be advised to install in-home receivers at households and introduce a registration system so they can receive automatic phone alerts.
The agency also plans to urge governments that only send email alerts to registered residents to also simultaneously broadcast radio alerts, the sources said.
The central government will continue providing special local tax grants to municipalities that distribute in-home receivers, they added.
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