Japanese government issues Y2K warning

Just when most of us thought it was safe, Japan’s government has advised its citizens to load up with several day’s worth of food and water in anticipation of any problems caused by the Y2K bug. The Japanese are apparently following a prudent course, and want their people to be prepared for any eventuality.

Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi noted that while the country’s “essential institutions” have completed preparations for Y2K problems, citizens should be prepared for “small problems”.

The government recommended stockpiling several days’ worth of food and water, as well as checking balances in bank accounts prior to December 31. The advisory was released at a meeting of a Japanese government committee studying the issue.

According to the committee’s reports, Japan is in very good shape as regards the potential problems caused by Y2K. Like their North American counterparts, Japan’s banks, electrical communications firms and airlines had completed testing of their systems by the end of September, along with virtually all of the country’s electric power companies.

The Japanese government warning may demonstrate the power of prudence, but it also maye completely redundant. Many Japanese households already keep supplies of food and water on hand in case of an earthquake, and most stock up on basic goods prior to the New Year’s holiday. Why? Stores are closed for four days at that time of year. That may be the best way to look at Y2K: it will give anyone peace of mind to have the essentials on hand this New Year’s.