Don’t Panic!

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and second, it has the words “DON’T PANIC” inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover. – Douglas Adams, The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy

It was reported on Saturday March 29th 2014 that Japan, will introduce a SMS alert system for ballistic missiles to go along with its alerts for earthquakes.  From April 1st, if you have mobile phone or smartphone provided by Docomo, Softbank or au KDDI, you will receive a text alert should North Korea, or should some other aggressor decide to attack Japan.

This news got me thinking about what other alerts the Japanese government might decide to introduce.  I have a few suggestions to improve the alert system.

The Toru Hashimoto will speak alert: This follows the success of the trial run of both the ‘Boris alert’ in London and the ‘Rob Alert’ in Toronto last year.  A much needed alert, I think all will agree to avoid gaffes like “a comfort women system is necessary”.  Every time Mayor Hashimoto calls a press conference or even opens his mouth to a wide, there should be text sent to everyone in Japan, so they can try and stop him speaking, and/or avoid or televisions and newspapers.  Also some sort of sound alert system could be invented, and used on broadcast media, to sound a klaxon, programmed to recognise and drown out the sound of his voice.  I expect the ‘Hashi Alert’ to be popular.

The AKB48 TV show alert:  They are cute, they sing and they dance (almost) and they should also be avoided at all costs.  To avoid a serious bout of nausea and possible death by saccharin induced vomiting, I suggest a text alert be sent to every member of the population over thirteen years of age, at least an hour before AKB48 are due to perform on television. This gives those warned ample time to find something less sickening and more respectable to do, like visit their nearest soapland.  Similar alerts should set up for SMAP, Perfume and One Direction in due course.  During Tokyo 2020, this service maybe temporarily suspended to allow LYM48 to perform at the opening and closing ceremony.

The cooking and celebrity interview TV show alert:  Or ‘cac’ for short.  This is an alert that should be sent to the mobile and smartphone of every foreigner living in Japan. Please do not misunderstand us Japanese broadcast media, you provide us with news, sport, anime and drama, and you let us know if there has been an earthquake or tsunami, we are grateful.  But why are most of your TV shows about cooking and interviewing the celebrity de jour?  All we ask is for an alert an hour before broadcasting, as with the AKB48 alert, to allow us some time to find something else to do.  If it is a TV show with a member of AKB48 making tempura, multiple alerts are possible but not mandatory.

So that’s it.  With these alerts you can live a stress free life in Japan.  Don’t Panic!  Keep calm and stay away from Hashimoto-san, AKB48 and cooking shows.


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