Minutes of YokosoNews and Earthquake


YokosoNews originally launched on April 2010 to introduce Japanese culture in English. But it has prepared to serve as information hub on social media in case of emergency.

Katz, editor and producer of YokosoNews, has experienced 911 in Los Angeles. Being as a foreigner in the foreign country, he recognized the needs of information for English speakers and possibility of social media.


An American who was stuck in disaster area in Sendai got to hold of the English hotline number via YokosoNews. He’s safely on the way back to the US.

Some was able to get in touch with relative/friend soon after the quake. Some waited for a week & finally able to contact with friend/relative & shared the joy with other viewers in the timeline.

The YokosoNews’ breaking news were faster than any other English media including, CNN Breaking News and BBC.


– Friday, March 11, 2011

2:52pm (JST), witihn 6 minutes after Earthquake, YokosoNews tweeted the Tsunami alert.

3:20pm (JST), within 40 minutes after Earthquake, YokosoNews began its emergency broadcast.

– Saturday, March 12, 2011

Around 7pm, YokosoNews simulteneous viewers reached over 6,200 during the press conference of Edano, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secreatary to give the latest update of Earthquake and Nuclear power plant.

During the first 2 days, YokosoNews was ONLY English Internet media which was reporting the latest information from Japanese media and governtment.

– Friday, March 25, 2011

YokosoNews had been broadcasting the emergency live cast for 10-18 hours a day for 14 days.

Statistics (3/11~3/25/2011)

  • The VERY FIRST English media to report the 311 Earthquake (First reported 6 min after the Earthquake)
  • Total approx. 1 million total live cast viewers (Ustream)
  • Total 401,821 unique live cast viewers (Ustream)
  • Maximum simultaneous viewers once reached 6,000 (Ustream)
  • Total 338,513 viewer hours (Ustream)
  • Recorded archived also generated 138,899 views (Ustream) Facebook: 2394 Likes Twitter: 2404 Followers 145,272 S/208,959 P/88,855 U

Media Coverage

The origin of YokosoNews disaster coverage

Origin of YokosoNews 311 Disaster Update

  • 311 Disaster Update was the part of YokosoNews fundamental plan
    • Provide sufficient English information to non-Japanese speaking residents in Japan
  • Experience and knowledge from 1995 Hanshin Earthquake
    • Studied disaster prevention
    • Studied volunteer efforts
    • Studied the day to day situation after the earthquake
    • The earthquake experiences were worth to be shared to world wide community but there were the language barrier.
  • Experience from 911
    • Experienced that overseas media won’t provide enough coverage
    • Saw many foreign students in USA panicked who didn’t understand English perfectly
  • Developed social media live reporting methods from
    • Toyota Recall hearing
      • Watched C-SPAN online live cast
      • Translated into Japanese via Twitter
    • Apple Keynote speech
      • Watched Steve Jobs keynote speech via live cast
      • Didn’t illegally broadcast their live video
      • But broadcasted the Japanese translation of Steve Jobs keynote via Ustream

Reuters – liveblog