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Japan says evacuation warning for North Korea missile was not a mistake


A TV screen displays a warning message called “J-alert” after the Japanese government issued an alert, following a ballistic missile launch by North Korea, in this photo taken in Tokyo, Japan April 13, 2023. The message reads: Japanese government warns citizens of the northernmost main island of Hokkaido to take immediate cover and stay inside buildings, saying a missile was likely to fall near the island. REUTERS/Issei Kato

The Japanese government said the emergency evacuation warning it issued and later retracted against residents of the northern island of Hokkaido after a North Korean missile launch on Thursday morning was appropriate and not an error.

“We did not correct the information issued by the J-Alert” emergency broadcasting system, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.

He said the North Korean missile disappeared from Japan’s radar immediately after detection, and a further analysis found that there was no possibility of its landing in Japan’s territory, leading to the lifting of the evacuation warning.

“The J-Alert warning was issued to inform citizens of the danger of a falling missile to prioritise citizens’ safety,” Matsuno said.