For Emergency - Methods for Contacting Family Members

Poste date: Monday, February 26, 2018

We are deeply sorry for those who are suffering and lost your family members after the earthquake on March 11th, 2011.
Though the damage is catastrophic we are hopeful and remain optimistic that the resilience of the Japanese will pull us through these difficult times.

Photos : The Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake (Mar. 12)

Japan is known as a country with many earthquakes. This kind of disaster could happen in Tokyo.
It is very important to discuss the evacuation methods and measures in case of such event among the family members. 

After the earthquake in March 11th, both mobile phones and landlines were unavailable for a while in Tokyo.
We assume many of you have experienced great worries for not being able to get in touch with family members in addition to experiencing difficulties to get home.


Communication method in case of earthquakes <for March 11th>

  Level 7 (In Tohoku) Level 5 (Tokyo)
Internet Access X OK
Mobile phone X X It recovered gradually after 5 hours.
Land line X X It recovered gradually after 5 hours.
SMS messages X It recovered gradually after 2 – 3 hours.
Public phone X Free public phones were placed shortly after the earthquake. Outgoing calls were working. However they didn’t reach other parties for a while.


According to TV news, 171 message dial by NTT and other messaging services by mobile phone providers are provided as communication means immediately after the earthquake.
Please view the following information as ways to communicate in case of emergencies.
We’d like to advise you to decide beforehand on the communication method to prioritize among your family members in view of the case noted above.


Message Service from 171

This is a message service provided by NTT. You can leave a voice message under your phone number (account) and listen to the messages.
This service is not accessible from mobile phones.

< How to Enter a message >

Dial 171

The operation guide message is available in Japanese only.
[Kochiraha Saigaiyou Dengon Daiyaru Senta- Desu. Rokuon Sareru Kataha Ichi, Saisei Sareru Kataha Ni, Anshoubangouwo Riyou Sarerukataha San, Anshobangouwo Saisei Sareru Kataha Yon wo Dial Shite Kudasai]

Dial “1″ to input your phone number.

[Hisaichi no Kataha, Gojitaku no Denwabangou, Shigaikyokuban kara Dial Shitekudasai]
Please make sure to include regional code number such as “03″ for central Tokyo.


*If a mobile phone number is dialed, it will be recognized as “invalid”. This service only applies for land-line telephones.
[Zero San xxxx – xxxx no Dengon wo Rokuon Shimasu, Push Shiki no Denwa wo Griyo no Kataha, Suuji no Ichi no Ato, Sha-pu wo Oshite Kudasai. ]

Dial 1#

[Dengon Wo Oazaukari Shimasu. Pi- Toiu Oto no Atoni Sanjubyo- Inaide Ohanashi Kudasai. Ohanashiga Owarimashitara Suuji no Kyu-no ato, Sha-pu wo Oshite Kudasai.]

Recording Message 

Please leave a message that is less than 30 seconds after the beep.

Dial 9#

[Dengon Wo Oazukari Shimashita]
The message will remain available for 48 hours. 


< How to Listen to a message >

Dial 171 -> Guidance -> Dial 2 -> Guidance -> Dial 03-XXXX-XXXX -> Guidance -> Dial 1# -> Play-back messages

When there are multiple messages : Play-back the next messages -> Guidance -> Hang up. 

If you have internet access,the following service is useful.
Google Person Finder :


Emergency message services

Available on the internet that are provided by mobile phone providers and NTT.

AU :
Docomo :
KDDI (Ezweb) :
NTT : 


Use Newsletter from embassies effectively

In case of emergencies, embassies distribute useful information to the registered users.
You can gather updated information and notices and communicate with family members back home smoothly.
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