August 28, 2020 Announcement of Occurrence State of Broadcasting Cessation Incidents (FY2011 - FY2018)

Trends of broadcast stoppages caused by natural disasters and power outages

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) demands that broadcasters report the state of their equipment (occurrence state of broadcasting cessation incidents) regularly pursuant to the Regulations for Enforcement of the Broadcast Act.
In recent years, the number of broadcast stoppages has increased due to an increase in natural disasters, and most of the accidents tend to be large in scale. To contribute to a study for future improvements in safety and reliability measures, MIC summarized the trends of terrestrial broadcasting stoppages caused by natural disasters from fiscal 2011 to 2018 and has decided to open them to the public.

1. Main contents

1. Occurrence of broadcast stoppages

  • 1.
    From fiscal 2012 through 2016, the number of serious broadcast stoppages decreased. However, due to the effects of natural disasters, the number showed an increasing tendency in and after fiscal 2017.
  • 2.
    More than half the broadcast stoppages were restored in less than 15 minutes (more than half of which were less than 1 minute).

2. Causes and trends of broadcast stoppages

  • 1.
    Accidents where the duration of the broadcast stoppage was long (two hours or more) were often due to equipment failures (32%), power outages (32%), and natural disasters (23%).
  • 2.
    More than 50% of the accidents caused by natural disasters occurred from July through September. Most of the causes were due to lightning and rainfall (about 67%), followed by snowfall (8%), fading (6%), and animal damage.
  • 3.
    When a power failure occurred at night at small relay stations, such as those in the mountains or in remote areas where it was dangerous or difficult to enter the stations, it took time to start the recovery work. This difficulty was one of the causes of prolonged broadcast accidents.
  • *
    The published material is in Japanese only.


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International Policy Division, Global Strategy Bureau, MIC

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