Last week, North Korea test launched two mid-range missiles that traveled over 400 miles and eventually landed in the Sea of Japan. Unsurprisingly, Japan is taking the initiative on a potential threat from the totalitarian state by issuing a new alert system.
Japanese citizens already receive alerts from the government on their phones about natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Now, the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) will begin alerting residents of nearby missile launches. It will use the same alert system called J-Alert, and smartphones users on one of Japan’s three major carriers (NTT Docomo, KDDI, and SoftBank) will begin receiving the alerts automatically for free.
The Verge notes that local governments already receive the alerts from the FDMA and can broadcast it to citizens via loudspeaker. But now that users can be notified through their smartphones, Japan has a more direct and reliable option in case of emergencies.