May 4 2021
The government has started to promote the use of “tsunami flags,” which are flags that visually notify people with hearing disabilities when tsunami warnings or advisories are issued at beaches. Usage of the system began in June of last year, but as of the end of February this year, only 63 of the 446 cities, towns, and villages in Japan that have beaches had introduced the system, which is about 14% of the total. The goal is to achievean 80% penetration rate by FY2025, and efforts to promote awareness of the system are in full swing.
The flag is more than one meter in length and width, and is decorated with a red and white lattice pattern that is considered highly visible. When tsunami warnings, advisories, and major tsunami warnings are issued, watchmen and lifesavers will raise the flags at high places such as watchtowers and on top of buildings.
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