NHK to broadcast mutilingual emergency warnings
Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Japanese public broadcaster NHK has launched a multilingual emergency warning service for the benefit of foreign residents and visitors in Japan. NHK has been providing the service in English since April 1988, and from 1 December 2007 has added Chinese, Korean and Portuguese. The service is provided through TV voiceovers on all analogue and digital channels and on Radio 2 each time an emergency warning such as a tsunami alert is issued. Tokai Earthquake alerts will also be issued in all four languages.

The number of foreign residents in Japan has now risen to about 2,085,000 (as of the end of 2006), or 1.3% of the total population (Immigration Bureau statistics). NHK says it is making every effort to enhance its disaster-related services as many people have difficulty with both Japanese and English and are, therefore, particularly vulnerable in times of disaster.

(Source: NHK)