J-Alert warning system to be installed at Diet in response to North Korean missile launches

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The House of Representatives chamber in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Oct. 26.

The House of Representatives is arranging with the government to install reception equipment for the J-Alert national instantaneous warning system in the National Diet.

In response to a series of ballistic missile launches by North Korea, the House of Representatives has decided such a system is necessary for crisis management in the Diet. The House of Councillors will also consider introducing the system in line with the House of Representatives.

The J-Alert system, which alerts the public to an emergency such as a missile launch or an earthquake, began operating in February 2007. Based on the Civil Protection Law, government agencies and other organizations are equipped to receive J-Alerts, but the Diet is exempt from the law.

Currently, in the event of an emergency, House of Representatives staffers send in-house warnings in response to television broadcasts and the disaster radio of Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, which delays the announcement by about one minute compared to J-Alert. Some members of the Liberal Democratic Party have expressed concern over the lack of a sense of crisis in the highest organ of state power.