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Japan's rocket alert system failed due to lack of info from defense ministry

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Mickey Mouse

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Preparedness in the face of disaster and dropping the ball. Sound familiar? This is just too much, heads have to roll. Forget about the reaction to the launch being "over the top". What if the missile DID fall on Japan?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

stupid clowns... that the defense minister is still in power is beyond my power of understanding. NK failed because lack of funds and proper testing means, but what kind of idiotic excuse has Japan for this failure... Billions of USD into a system that does not even work the ONLY time when it should...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Rocket Launch Failed so did J-Alert System, nobody (except Media) was ever bothered from the very begining ! Good Day !

5 ( +8 / -3 )

And you have to wonder who the people are who screwed up. Are they entrenched bureaucrats? Unqualified political appointees? I'm not sure which is worse.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Japanese don't trust foreign information. That's at the root of the problem. The info should have gone directly from the source (Washington) to the alert center. However, various Japanese agencies must put their proverbial hanko on such info first, thereby defeating the purpose of an "early warning" system.

The Asian tsunami of 2004, the world's worst natural disaster, took a full day to report on NHK, because the Meteorological Agency took time in verifying info from the USGS, (the world's most trusted authority!). The Japanese are often the last to find things out.

17 ( +17 / -1 )

The million dollar is WHY did it take them them almost 30 minutes to pass on this information?

Did someone forget to call? Was the system supposed to forward the message to the anti-missile operators automatically but failed?

Maybe then need to sign up for Facebook/Twitter and friend/follow Washington. It'd be faster getting their info by reading their timeline.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan had no intention to shoot down the rocket/missile. This excuse was in place in case the rocket/missile was a success and it was not shot down. The rocket/missile failure will have serious consequences. Nobody knows when or what, but it will happen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Billions of USD into a system that does not even work the ONLY time when it should..."

"Was the system supposed to forward the message to the anti-missile operators automatically but failed?"

Doesn't sound like the military system didn't work from the article. It was the Japanese bureaurcracy that failed after the authorities were notified two minutes after the launch.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is too funny, yesterday on tv, the Japanese announcers were also asking why it took so long and they said that the J government did not want to give out any incorrect information?? Now we are finding out the system just failed?? Thank god/s that North Korea's missile also failed!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Haha. I'm so glad my life doesn't rely on these muppets in government... Oh wait it does. Come on jp, where's this amazing technology and supirority of leadership we are always told of??

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It would of been nice to see their weather satellite enter orbit.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Much Ado About Nothing"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am not surprised. I once went to the Patriot missile base up north. I had an appointment to see a commander. When I got to security my ID was not checked, I had a camera, computer in my bag and I was given directions not accompanied to the office. Basically I had the run of the place and could have got all sorts of intel.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Doesn't sound like the military system didn't work from the article. It was the Japanese bureaurcracy that failed after the authorities were notified two minutes after the launch.

Does this even matter? If it would have been an atomic weapon towards Tokyo, it wouldn't have worked...this is what matters...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Every keeps forgetting that Japanese government employees only work from 9 to 5.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hahahaha!!! North Korea and Japan, two peas in a pod. Now, we know the Japanese government doesn't issue information to anyone, but not even to a missile alert system? That's sad! At least North Korea can fall back on the excuse that they had to make the rocket from all sorts of different parts, given how poor they are and how far behind in tech. What's Japan's excuse?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

ebisen : Not sure what you're getting at. What wouldn't have worked? The Japanese military defense response is a different argument. The article is mostly about the failure of a warning system for the general Japanese population.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So NK had announced for weeks what dates they were targeting for the launch, and the Japanese system still could not announce that it had launched until at least 20 minutes later, and that was based on international media reports. Can you imagine what would happen in an actual "sneak attack"? This is just hilarious. The Three Stooges movie is opening today here in the states, and this fits that to a T.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, some good has come of all this nonsense. We found out that North Korean rocket science is grade school level and that Japan's rocket warning system is useless. We can conclude that if there is a real threat and a real war with a real enemy that has missiles that work we are toast.

So now North Korea and Japan both have egg on their faces. But North Korea was prepared for failure. They unveiled a couple of big hanging statues to divert their people's attention away from that silly rocket. All that Japan unveiled was a bunch of silly excuses.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

and the Japanese populace will shrug it off with a "shoganai" and not even wonder how much taxpayer money was wasted.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

state of the art system = some amakudari guy using his thick glasses to look into the sky to find the missile. when sighted then he needs to fill in a form, apply the inkan and fax it to some other amakudari guy in the defence force who was prob sleeping

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am well pleased that both sides failed horrifically. Maybe now they will both sit down and shut up about this wannabee militaristic nonsense and do something important, although I especially aim that at the Japanese government.

Forget about the reaction to the launch being "over the top".

No way Paulinusa. That is a key issue. Not forgetting about it for a second. A return to Japanese militarism will ride on such over the top unnecessary reactions such as this. I am not worried that North Korea will suddenly be able to produce a bunch of successful rockets overnight. Its not going to happen. But trying to instigate mass panic over one stupid rocket test is a major, major concern in the here and now. And that is another reason why I am well pleased they made themselves look like total idiots.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why do I have the urge to just slam my head against my keyboard? Thank god NK are rubbish at making rockets! Seriously Japan sort our damn defence systems out!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What if the missile DID fall on Japan?

Should have addressed this above Paulinusa. Answer: 99.9 percent chance of nothing. This was a test of one lousy rocket. Even North Korea would be so stupid as to put a live warhead on it. If it hit anything they would get thousands in return.

And if it had a dummy warhead and stayed on course for another half hour before explosion? 99.9 percent chance all pieces would have hit ocean. .1 percent chance or less any piece would have hit an uninhabited hillside on some island. Odds of hitting a ship, car or house? almost incalculable. A person? virtually impossible. If it went off course, odds are it would not head for mainland Japan. If it did? 80 percent chance all pieces would hit a mountain or other uninhabited area. 20 percent chance anything would land anywhere near inhabited areas. And in that case, 80 percent chance of a piece landing in a rice field or park or something. 10 percent chance of harmlessly landing on a roof something. Chance of doing damage or hitting a person? A fraction of a percent, and that is IF it went off course, etc.

Overall chance of doing any damage or hurting someone in Japan? So tiny as to be incalcuable. You should have more worry about bolts falling off of American fighter jets from the bases scattered around this country. If such things were a worry to anyone, that person must hunker in a backyard bunker most of their lives for fear of getting hit by lighting or getting hit by a piece of Skylab.

Rather than complain to North Korea about such things, might as wll get God on the phone and tell him to quit it with the hail.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

typical nonsensical reaction by a too proud Japanese.

I second it, and I am not Japanese. I for one am glad Japan is not on a hair-trigger, because screw ups are all too common.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Don't get fooled by our government. They never tell us truths until much much later.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Classic. Never prepared or ready when they promise to be. And the government wonders why people have no faith in them? Unreal. I'd like my tax yen back please!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Some of you seem to be hijacking this article to vent about the JDSF, Patriot Missiles, Japan military history , etc. That's NOT what the article is about. You're entitled to your opinion about the defense preperations, but the system that failed wasn't the Patriot missiles or the JDSF forces. The failure here is about the government being capable of warning the population about possible impending disaster.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

teflon: 99.9% of people don't win the lottery but .1% does win. I wouldn't want to be the .1% that wins the NK ballistic missile lottery. If someone died, everyone would screaming about the lack of preparedness.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

why is this supposed alert system needed anyway? The media are always first to know and alert anyhow. (oh right, kickbacks and the need for illusionary action)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe the defense minister needs to launch another satellite to improve their info?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

teflon: 99.9% of people don't win the lottery but .1% does win.

This is not a lottery! There is no rule that someone must win! I am seriously more worried about lighting, traffic accidents big hail stones, or hell, even meteors!

If someone died, everyone would screaming about the lack of preparedness.

But they never do with the far more people killed by lighting each year! You see all the lightning rods going up at soccer fields? Yeah, neither did I ! Stupid people scream about stupid stuff all the time. Even one death would not prove their concerns legit, and I say again, even the odds of that are astronomically small! Yet here is the J-government, in a tizzy, panties in a bind, billions of yen blown on this anti-missle system, asleep at the wheel. I would seriously rather see those lighting rods at soccer fields! They would probably save more lives for the same money spend on all those AED devices collecting dust at public schools.

And the rocket blew up over North Korea! What damages there?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You know, I am so glad that Noda cancelled his hanami party so that he could get his beauty sleep next to the red phone. He really does need that beauty sleep!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well said teflon - and patrick.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"It would of been nice to see their weather satellite enter orbit"

Yuri, are you sure it was a weather satellite? Not a spy satellite, or a satellite-destroying satellite?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is one aspect to this matter that needs to be addressed. Japanese bureaucratic agencies are jealous of their information and reluctant to share it. Sharing information, therefore, is not a simple email or phone call. It needs approval from the proper authority. Thus finding the proper authority and getting the job done can take an inordinate amount of time. In this case the North Korean missile had already disintegrated by the time the information about it was released.

I am glad this happened when it did. Not because I want to laugh at the Japanese but because this exposes a safety problem that needs to be fixed.

Fortunately there was little if any danger from this rocket, the mass hysteria generated by it notwithstanding. But there may come a time when there is a danger (most likely from a snafu). If the Defense Ministry is really there to defend us it really ought to get its act together.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Once again, at every level, the legendary Japanese efficiency is about as much a part of reality as the tooth fairy. Utterly inept to an embarrassing degree.

Yet somebody somewhere will begin a series of meetings on this matter, the already bloated overtime payments will double, and not a single shiny-suited bureaucrat will be held to account. And then when the increased taxation comes in to pay for this Byzantine mockery of social policy, it's we the people who will be treated as irresponsible if were reluctant to finance their limitless shambles.

Who is responsible for this nonsense? Yes, there is systemic incompetence, but somebody got paid to mastermind the fiasco. Fine him ( and it will be a him, you may bet your last pair of boots) and fire him and treat all future fackwittery with swift action.

Oh, sorry, I forgot, this is Japan nobody is ever responsible for anything. Shoganai. How much of my savings would you like, minister? All of it? Hai dozo, yoroshiku onegai shimasuuuuuuu.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

I heard that the missile warning system didn't work because the missile travelled about as far as it would if they threw it. The Americans where watching via satellite whereas the Japanese system looks from the ground so the missile just didn't come close enough. I wouldn't expect a missile warning system to let me know about missiles nowhere near us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I get the feeling that commenters here might have railed against TEPCO and the J-Govt. for not being disaster prepared and not sharing radiation info, but are quick to criticize the government for fear mongering and being over the top when a possible hostile missile is launched by NK.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"At approximately 07:40 we confirmed that a certain flying object was launched from North Korea and fell after flying for just over a minute," Japanese Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka said.

Maybe they were too busy chuckling at it to pass the info on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The Mouse that Roared." Un cleans house and moves forward.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Patriots do not work that well anyway.

So those defense missile batteries will become obsolete like stop sign in this country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Amazing how everything seems to work great in Japan, until there is a government related element in it. Nuclear disaster protection: unreliable. Corporate governance: unreliable. And now protection and alert systems against foreign attack: unreliable. I dread the upcoming predicted Tokyo Earthquake, not just because of what it will be, but because I now have zero faith that the government will have any effective countermeasures or response.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Blame the 400 page instruction manual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The news report of yesterday just told us briefly as if negligible that the Japanese government had not confirmed North Korea's rocket launch quickly because the radars on Aegis destroyers were unable to detect and monitor the rocket launch. The first info from the U.S. was what the sensor satellite informed by detecting a change of heat around the North Korean launch site. But the J-government and the Defense Ministry wanted to confirm it by another method rigged with state-of-the-art technology but it failed. Something before the warning system operates. The alert centre didn't receive info. MDS didn't detect a missile launch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you, everybody. All of the incompetence and charade was predicted earlier. Nobody was at home for the call and nobody is standing up now and saying the homeland was protected. Did everyone go on vacation?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A few of you should read my comments at the top about government ministers screwing up and not the military. That said, sticking one's head in the sand and saying "What a waste." and "No chance It'll ever happen" is never a good idea. Defense is about being prepared for the unexpected. Japan is situated near an irrational, lunatic country that's curses it at every chance. Can anyone predict that a NK missile wouldn't land on Japanese soil? That it can't possibly be armed?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Even if the rocket/missile were shot out of the air over the sea of Japan, the debris could have fallen on the land in Japan. The big scare by the governments and the failure of the defense was worth the failure to NK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dale Berry @11:50AM - Har!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The J government loves making the NKs the bad guys to scare folks here. Missiles in Tokyo, what a joke. And then the NK launch fails. No surprise there.

But seriously, maybe Japan should make CNN part of its military complex.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was never worried about North Korea's single rocket launch, not for a second. I changed none of my habits. As I have been saying, I am more concerned about lighting falling from the sky. I was even more concerened about one of those PAC-3 missles going awry, because they are actually being launched right here in Japan. And its just another reason to be glad those idiots didn't get on the ball or they might have shot one off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stay on topic please. TEPCO is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's rocket alert system failed due to lack of info from defense ministry.......................

May be the J Defense Ministry forgets it has the rocket alert system center ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When they hold the inquest into this communication failure and national embarrassment, will they take minutes at the meeting? Oh hang on, no, they don't do that either, do they?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Patriots do not work that well anyway. So those defense missile batteries will become obsolete like stop sign in this country.

They worked very well when I was working in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. But that was over 20 years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Amazing how everything seems to work great in Japan, until there is a government related element in it. Nuclear disaster protection: unreliable. Corporate governance: unreliable. And now protection and alert systems against foreign attack: unreliable. I dread the upcoming predicted Tokyo Earthquake, not just because of what it will be, but because I now have zero faith that the government will have any effective countermeasures or response.

That's just it. EVERYTHING here is unreliable. I could rant about the pension system, the health care system, the education system, the nuclear disaster safety system, the earthquake disaster system... and well, at the end of the day, I know that I need to look after myself and my family because my tax money and the Japanese government certainly aren't going to do it. They have proven time and time again they are incompetent. Yet, the voting public doesn't take them to task about it all. Why are heads not rolling???? God help you all in Tokyo if and when an earthquake happens. If it does, my butt and my familys' bums will all be on planes getting the heck out. Flyjin or not, I know it won't be pretty and I know you won't get the help you need or the help you've been promised.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The LDP are already posturing and harping on about this. I expect they will have a no confidence vote in Tanaka (who, I agree, is useless) before long. Yet if they were in charge the result would have been the same. The problem is someone had to make a decision and no-one was willing to take responsibility. Instead, the default approach of calling a meeting to discuss the issue was adopted. Unless the system is entirely automated, like the earthquake warning system, it will continue to be useless and a waste of money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's about time those 2 countries live together in peace otherwise we will see more embarrassing moments.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They didn't care to pass it on to the civilians as someone in the know had their hand in the "accidental" explosion ; ) It almost seems like they knew it was going to bugger up so no need to inform the public until they confirmed their job was done....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lets hope the tsunami warning alert system works a little better

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's exactly because the system doesn't allow for any criticism and accountability that Japan is losing the economic battle and is going to suffer in the future.

Considering JAXA's record and this latest failure I think Japan should generally avoid anything that has to do with rockets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only J-gov could be so utterly and completely humiliated by a malfunctioning piece of technology.

NK will try again, do you think J-gov will get their s#it together by then? Yeah, me neither.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Gaijintoday, perhaps you should have been stationed in Israel, whose missile defence patteries failed 91% of the time during the Gulf war. I agree with your close namesake, this has been the most devastating blow against a hostile government that was delivered by a disintegrating piece of junk. Like it or not, points goes to North Korea.

Japanese were played into a lose-lose situation by their own right-wing nut cases. They should stick to playing anime songs from van speakers around Ueno, the world is too much for them to cope with, has been for over 400 years.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

here's pop quiz for u. which is greater threat? earthquake/nuclear plant worries? or missle from north korea?

this fuss about NK thing is designed to divert attention from what's much more important issues...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This kind of INCOMPETENCE needs have a severe penalty. It looks like the the "Not Me" owner will never be found and time will allow it to disappear. There are always the elections, but probably nobody will remember. SAD.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese government bureacracy at work again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan - fail

North Korea-fail

Who said they don't have a platform for debate?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can the incompetency in this situation reach the prime minister or any other elected official? Japan is as unprotected as the US president in Columbia. Japan needs to start paying for its own protection and send the Yanks home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey I have another theory...NK blew up the rocket themselves to avoid a confrontation with Japan or US....better to have an "accident" than lose face by doing what the UN wants....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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