(Asahi: February 4, 2016 – p. 38)
North Korea’s advance notice of a missile launch is prompting Japan’s local communities located along the flight path to step up their precautions.
The office of Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture set up an emergency liaison office on Feb. 3. On the same day, Ishigaki and Naha, where the Air Self-Defense Force deploys a Patriot surface-to-air guided missile (PAC-3), also launched an alert headquarters. These authorities are stepping up their information-collection activities and checking whether J-Alert, a nationwide warning system, is functioning properly.
The prefectural office of Nagasaki sent a fishing safety information notice to its 68 local fishery cooperatives on Feb. 3. They will verify the safety of fishermen at sea as soon as they receive information on a missile launch by fax. Personnel at a crisis management division in the prefecture will work shifts around the clock. Four staff members will go on duty starting on Feb. 8 for the period of time in which North Korea says it plans to launch a missile.
The Kitakyushu-based 7th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters and the Kagoshima-based 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters also set up a response team on Feb. 3 and began cautioning ships travelling in their waters under their administration.
The prefectural offices of Kagoshima and Fukuoka will station personnel around the clock from the evening of Feb. 7 and the morning of Feb. 8, respectively. They will collect information via Em-Net, the government’s service to inform local communities about natural disasters and other emergencies, as well as J-Alert, and send notices to citizens via a disaster-prevention email system when needed. (Abridged)