Seven-Eleven Japan Co is installing telephones in its stores in Tokyo for use in case of an emergency. The convenience store operator and NTT East started putting phones in stores in Chiyoda Ward on Sept 7. They plan to install the phones in 1,200 stores in Tokyo’s 23 wards by the end of the year.
The move comes in response to a massive communications breakdown right after the March 11 disaster when overloaded mobile phone networks crashed as millions of people tried to make calls.
Seven-Eleven said in a statement that the phones will only be used in the case of a major disaster such as an earthquake, typhoon or if a blackout occurs. There will be no charge for use of the phones which will have an extension cord long enough for them to be used outside the store in case there are long lines of people.