Forget Hawaii, Japan's NHK falls prey to false alarm

While Hawaii in the US is seriously investigating its false alarm in the weekend, nearby Japan too ran into panic two days later on Tuesday when the public broadcaster NHK started showing a false alarm saying the belligerent neighbour North Korea has unleashed havoc launching a missile and that people should take shelter immediately.

On Saturday, Hawaii sirens sent people wailing and running across streets for 38 minutes but fortunately Japan broadcaster relegated the scene to five minutes and corrected its mistake within five minutes. The possible panic around the country was avoided but it is still not known how NHK could go wrong.

The flash message sent out at 6.55 p.m. local time read:"North Korea has apparently launched a missile. The government is asking people to take shelter inside buildings or underground." It was soon sent out on all mobile phones. Five minutes later, the national broadcaster corrected it saying NO government alert called "J-alert" was put out officially.

NHK announced on its TV at 9 pm saying, "This happened due to mishandling of the equipment to send a news flash onto the Internet. We are deeply sorry." Though the national broadcaster's announcer bowed in typical Japanese manner and apologized, for five minutes Japan witnessed what the hell would be like.

Last time Japan was attacked on August 9, 1945 with a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki that ended its involvement in World War Two and obliged it to a peace constitution. It was only in September and November 2017 that North Korean ICBM missile tests evoked fears among the Japanese when they flew over the nation. Ever since, Japanese and its media are on tenterhooks almost on daily basis.

Here's how social media reacted to the news:

Another writer on Twitter said it was a serious issue as NHK is one channel people turn to in case of emergency.