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Cablegate: Emergency Communications Facilities in Japan

VZCZCXRO0933
RR RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2645/01 2682251
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 242251Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7476
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1493
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2190
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 9726
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 6272
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2167
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0022
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8112
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 2381
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3764
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0597

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002645

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR IRM/BPC/CST/EA KGODWIN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECPS ACOA AMGT ANET JA
SUBJECT: Emergency Communications Facilities in Japan

REF: STATE 92121

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED, PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

1. (SBU) Summary: Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and
Communications (MIC) officials report that under the country's
system for priority emergency communications, such services are
provided by commercial telecommunications carriers under terms
specified by Japanese law. Foreign missions do not fall into one of
the categories set out in the MIC ordinance implementing the law,
but Ministry officials state MIC is willing to discuss the
possibility of a negotiated arrangement with the U.S. This report
is in response to the request contained in ref for information on
host country emergency communications systems and their potential
availability for Mission use in an emergency, and result from recent
emboff meetings with GOJ and Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT)
officials. End summary.

---------------------------------------
Japan's Emergency Communications System
---------------------------------------

2. (U) Japan's emergency communications facilities are provided for
under the Telecommunications Business Law, article 8. The law was
revised following the 1995 Kansai earthquake and it directs
commercial telecommunications carriers, and specifically NTT, to
assure vital communications during an emergency by assigning
preference to identified numbers from designated functions or users.
This prioritization then allows carriers to suspend connecting
non-vital communications as set out in the MIC Ordinance
Implementation Rules of the Telecommunications Business Law.

3. (SBU) Calls will be given preferential handling if they come with
a priority signal or from a designated terminal or cell phone
associated with a designated organization, and come during an
emergency. MIC officials noted a general similarity to the U.S.
Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) program, even though the
Japanese system does not differentiate criticality levels.

4. (SBU) The MIC Ordinance designates 16 functional classes of
organization and 6 classes of communication to be given priority
communications access.

Priority Functional Classes:

-- Meteorological;
-- Flood prevention;
-- Fire service;
-- Disaster relief;
-- Maintenance of public order;
-- Defense;
-- Coast guard;
-- Transportation assurance;
-- Telecommunication services;
-- Electric power supply;
-- Water supply;
-- Gas supply;
-- Election administration;
-- News media;
-- Financial institutions;
-- National and/or local government responsible for essential
coordination or communications.

Priority Communications Classes:

-- Urgent threats to human safety or health, such as fire, epidemic
disease, or serious traffic accidents;
-- To maintain public order;
-- Concerning the execution or results of national or local
elections;
-- Coordination and reporting in the event of natural disasters or
catastrophic incidents;
-- Warnings and reporting on meteorological, hydrologic, and
terrestrial phenomena;
-- Assurance and continuity of critical infrastructures and business
services.

-----------------------------------------
U.S. Mission Access and Future Discussion

TOKYO 00002645 002 OF 002


-----------------------------------------

5. (SBU) According to MIC officials, diplomatic missions are not now
eligible for access to the emergency communications system. They
acknowledged potential situations in which preferential service
might be warranted and desirable, and as an example recalled the
difficulty Japanese consular officials had faced following the
recent earthquake in western China. Inclusion of foreign missions
would require revision of the ordinance, in the view of MIC
officials, and there are no plans to review the law.

6. (SBU) Subsequent to meeting with MIC, Post inquired with NTT
about the status of a standing arrangement Post has had with the
carrier. Upon examination, NTT officials reported the new law
stipulates explicitly those entities eligible for preferred access
and does not allow NTT latitude to support Post as previously
arranged. Therefore, corroborating MIC points, NTT advised access
to preferred emergency communications would require negotiation of
an intergovernmental arrangement.

7. (SBU) MIC expressed appreciation for background provided on U.S.
emergency communications programs and will consider these programs
further. They agreed there may be scope to discuss negotiated
access. Should both governments wish to explore this option,
perhaps in a bilateral arrangement, the GOJ would also likely
consider factors such as reciprocity. They also noted, U.S. Forces
Japan (USFJ) has access to emergency communications services, but
said this arrangement pertains specifically to USFJ and not to the
U.S. Mission, and it is specified separately from the
Telecommunications Business Law.

8. (SBU) The MIC officials also responded to supplemental questions,
should Mission become eligible for priority access in the future.
The GOJ program does not require any special equipment and, as
service is provided by commercial telecommunications providers,
access costs should be worked out directly with carriers.

9. (SBU) Relevant to the discussion of critical communications
facilities, econoff advised MIC officials of two upcoming events.
Plans are under discussion for the fourth U.S.-Japan Cyber security
Bilateral Meeting, and the fifth U.S.-Japan Critical Infrastructure
Forum, both tentatively planned for November in Washington, DC.

SCHIEFFER

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