HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a opens new studio for Tonga Broadcasting Commission

Photo Credit: Embassy of Japan in the Kingdom of Tonga

28th September, 2022 His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto’a commissioned Tonga Broadcasting Commission’s new studio yesterday, marking the completion of the multi-million Nationwide Early Warning System and Strengthening Disaster Communications Project (NEWS) funded by the Government and the People of Japan.

HRH Tupoutu’a said, Her Late Majesty Queen Salote Tupou III, over 60 years ago commissioned Tonga’s first radio broadcasting studio called the ZCO of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission on July 4, 1961.

“In Her Address, she emphasized that this is a significant milestone where broadcasting and communications services transcend beyond borders, to foster working together, education and common understanding in a timely manner to achieve peace and happiness to all subjects.”

Photo Credit: Embassy of Japan in the Kingdom of Tonga

He said the new studio building is a “modern system and fully equipped with a purpose and the truth to saving lives wherever and whenever, is required.”

“Our calling today is preparing ourselves to help those in needs, those in despair, those who may be dying from extreme event of natural disasters and worst impact of climate change. We can just imagine that, that critical moment of crying out for survival.”

“We can save them with this system. And this is resilience in facing challenges of our time.”

Photo Credit: Embassy of Japan in the Kingdom of Tonga


Japanese Ambassador to Tonga H.E. Mr. Kensaku MUNENAGA said, the project strengthens “Tonga’s capacity for risk management and its resilience against disasters” through the improvement of three systems – Emergency Radio Communication System, Early Warning Sound Alert System and Medium Wave Radio Broadcasting System.

He stated that new telecommunication system covers the whole of Tonga and the “nationwide network is very valuable and crucial in the occurrence of disasters, even if the submarine cable is disconnected”, the system will still work using radio telecommunication network (satellite system).

An Early Warning Sound Alert transmission with a nationwide coverage was also installed through the project and will only take 8 minutes for the warnings to resonate.

He said based on their experience with Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsunamis, Tongans are capable of evacuating to higher grounds when a tsunami occurs as long as there are advanced warnings.

“For that, NEWS project will be surely useful and effective.”

“I hope the NEWS project would become an epoch-making project for the people of Tonga. I believe this project will save the people and the Kingdom.”

Photo Credit: Embassy of Japan in the Kingdom of Tonga

The Acting Prime Minister Hon Samiu Vaipulu noted that, Tonga is the second most at risk country in the world to natural disasters.

He said challenges such as the increasing of ocean and land temperatures, sea level rise, extreme weather, natural disasters and climate change, impact the country’s social and economic development.

“The Tongan Government requested assistance from the Government of Japan to improve the speed and stability of information transmission and to establish a wireless communication system in the event of a disaster.”

Photo Credit: Embassy of Japan in the Kingdom of Tonga

“The Japanese Government towards the end of 2016 responded positively to the proposal, and the design of the project started.”

Hon Vaipulu thanked the Government and People for their continued assistance in times of need which will save the people of Tonga from the adverse impacts of natural disasters and climate change.

NEWS Project was implemented through MEIDECC’s Communications Department.

Princess Royal HRH, Salote Pilolevu Tuita, Crown Princess Sinaitakala Tuku’aho, Lord Tuita and Nobles of the Realm, Members of the diplomatic corps, government officials and guests were present in the occasion.




Issued by the: Department of Communications (MEIDECC)



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