Japan govt. compiles report on possible impacts of solar flares

Japan's communications ministry has drawn up a report on possible impacts of large-scale eruptions on the surface of the sun called "solar flares," such as disruptions in wireless communications.

Solar activity has a cycle and is likely to intensify around 2025, when solar flares are expected to increase.

The report released by the ministry's panel of experts on Tuesday describes the worst case scenario when solar flares cause disruptions in the earth's magnetic field.

The report says mobile phone and TV broadcast services could become unavailable intermittently for two weeks, and car navigation systems might fail to function properly as the accuracy of GPS satellites could be affected.

It also says power facilities without pre-emptive measures could malfunction, causing blackouts.

The report recommends that forecasts and warnings which focus on social impacts be introduced. It also says that in fields such as communications, frequencies that could easily be affected should be avoided, and alternative means, such as landline communications, should be secured.

Ishii Mamoru of Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology said he wants businesses to become aware of such a scenario and take gradual steps to enhance infrastructure.