MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. military and local Japanese officials are looking to fine-tune their emergency response systems after reviewing lessons learned from the Feb. 28 tsunami tidal swells that threatened coastal areas on the mainland and Okinawa.

While officials maintain that efforts were largely successful, English-language warnings for northern Japan and better Web site updates on Okinawa are in the works.

Some Americans living in Oirase — a small city near Misawa Air Base on the northern tip of the main island of Honshu — complained in chat rooms and e-mails that the emergency broadcasts over loudspeakers and via intercoms in some homes were given only in Japanese. More than 3,300 of the town’s 25,000 residents are Americans who work on the base. All those contacted declined to be interviewed for this story.

Oirase city officials said last week the tsunami warning helped highlight the need for more effective emergency broadcasts for all residents.

While the majority of the evacuations along the coast didn’t affect the housing clusters where Americans live in the community, the city should consider implementing a better announcement system, said Katsunori Kashiwazaki, the senior member of Oirase’s disaster preparedness team.

Kashiwazaki said Oirase is also home to many other nationalities, including French, Filipinos, Chinese and Koreans.

“Starting first in English, bilingual or multilingual announcements are something we need to consider in the future,” he said.

Lt. Col. Laura Johnson, commander of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron at Misawa, said an after-action review of the air base’s notification process is under way, but that there didn’t appear to be any major problems.

She said city officials — as planned — communicated with the base’s command center, which is manned continuously.

In addition, an “outstanding relationship” between the base and local fire departments — groomed through joint exercises throughout the year — also helps maintain lines of communication during emergencies.

On Okinawa, thousands of U.S. military family members were among the nearly 220,000 ordered to evacuate from low-lying areas, with officials predicting that a 6-foot tidal swell could sweep across the island.

Ed Gulick, an 18th Wing spokesman at Kadena, said that while the overall evacuation operation was considered successful, it did highlight some areas that can be improved.

“Ultimately, people need to know where to go to get the information in the first place, and we learned that we can do a better job of making sure they know where that is,” Gulick said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes. “We are currently working on a new section of our Web site dedicated to natural disasters and the acts of God we see on Kadena such as typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis. We hope to have that up and working before typhoon season this year.”

While Japan was hit with several sets of tidal swells, they were much lower than originally expected and caused only minor flooding and damage. The biggest swell — at nearly four feet — occurred about 50 miles south of Misawa Air Base at the port of Kuji, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

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