Japan to send phone alerts for incoming missile strikes

Residents of Japan are used to receiving phone notifications of natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, but from next week the government will be able to warn them of a whole new threat. On Tuesday, the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency (FDMA) will flip the switch on a new alert system designed to relay information on nearby ballistic missile launches.

The notifications will be sent through the same J-Alert system used to warn residents of earthquakes, and users with phones or smartphones on the three major carriers NTT Docomo, KDDI, and SoftBank will automatically start receiving them for free. Local governments can already receive the same missile data from the FDMA and notify citizens via loudspeaker or other…

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