Japan will launch a new communications system in April that will allow public authorities to share live images and information during disasters. The system, called “Public Safety LTE,” will be provided by Internet Initiative Japan Inc. and aims to improve coordination among organizations involved in rescue and recovery efforts, such as local governments, police, fire authorities, and the Self-Defense Forces. Currently, the lack of a unified system poses challenges in coordinating emergency responses. The new technology will enable authorities to send images through smartphone apps and hold online meetings with disaster response headquarters. The system will be tested with local authorities and organizations in fiscal year 2023 before being fully implemented. In case of disruptions in communication, backup lines provided by NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corp. will ensure continuous connectivity. The system also includes a priority telephone service for disasters that is not subject to communication restrictions. Users can access the system by inserting a SIM card into a smartphone, eliminating the need for additional equipment. Internet Initiative Japan operates its own low-cost smartphone business and provides IT infrastructure and security services for companies and public offices.

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