Defense Ministry Eyeing App against Coronavirus Infection

Politics

Tokyo, April 13 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry and Self-Defense Forces are considering introducing a smartphone app that informs users if they had close contact with people infected with the novel coronavirus, Defense Minister Taro Kono said Monday.

Kono revealed the plan in an online lecture hosted by the Research Institute of Japan, a Jiji Press affiliate. The online format was adopted to prevent the spread of the virus.

It is thought that infection clusters tend to take place easily within the SDF, whose members live in groups. "The important thing is to detect those who had close contact with infected people as quickly as possible," Kono said, stressing his intention to introduce the app soon.

The smartphone app checks users' movement history with the Bluetooth wireless technology. When an infected person is identified, a notification will be sent to people who had been within a certain distance of the person for a certain amount of time.

U.S. IT giants Apple and Google are developing similar technologies, and the introduction of such technology is being considered in Europe and Asia.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press