Broadcasters to Face New Power Back-Up Requirements in Japan Disaster's Wake

More than half of braodcasters in northeastern Japan were damaged during the March earthquake and tsunami.

TOKYO – Following nearly half of broadcast facilities in the northeast of Japan being damaged by the March 11 disaster, theMinistry of Internal Affairs and Communications is to require relay stations to be equipped with reserve power systems, according to a report in the local media.

148 out of 298 broadcasters in six regions of northeast Japan reported that service was interrupted in the wake of the massive earthquake, leaving many areas without access to vital information about the ensuing tsunami and numerous aftershocks.

When the revised Broadcast Law is implemented at the end of this month, TV and radio broadcasters across Japan will be forced to install back-up power systems by October 2018, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun – the world’s largest newspaper by circulation - citing unnamed sources.  

With TV nets already facing large capital outlays to prepare for the complete switchover to digital broadcasting on July 24, the ministry is looking at providing subsidies for the reserve power systems. The power systems at facilities in areas prone to tsunamis will have to placed on higher up to avoid them being damaged by flooding – the cause of the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Plant, which lost its cooling systems after being hit by 14-meter (46-foot) waves.

A spokesperson for public broadcaster NHK told The Hollywood Reporter that the ministry had not yet provided it with any information on the new law.

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