Japan to use common grid system for quick disaster response

Japan to use common grid system for quick disaster response

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Japan: The Self-Defense Forces, police and the Japan Coast Guard”s regional office in central Japan will use a common coordinate system to speed up the dispatch of relief units in emergencies, according to sources.

The Ground Self Defense Force 10th Division, the Chubu Regional Police Bureau and the 4th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, all of which are based in Nagoya, will adopt the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid used by the SDF, the sources said.

They agreed to take the step to more quickly identify places with major damage from incidents such as strong quakes, large-scale accidents or terrorist attacks and dispatch relief units immediately.

Responding to their move, the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan is preparing to make a map with UTM Grid zones and publicise it on the Internet, according to the sources.

The SDF, police and coast guard in other regions have yet to adopt a common coordinate system, but a Geospatial Information Authority official said the UTM grid is likely to become the national standard in disaster response and prevention activities.

The need to use a common coordinate system has been raised during disaster drills in central Japan, where municipalities and public organisations and other groups form a joint conference for discussions on strategies to cope with a possible giant quake in the Nankai Trough in the Pacific.

The three central Japan bodies will use a common grid map to be prepared by the coast guard”s headquarters in Nagoya. The map will show each organisation”s facilities, hospitals, heliports and emergency transportation roads with UTM grid coordinate numbers.

Source: Japan Times