The Japanese government has announced it will begin developing an evacuation guidance mobile app to support users in the event of an emergency at stadia throughout the country.

Spectators at large stadia in Japan will automatically receive evacuation routes to their phones to avoid getting lost in the case of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

With Japan set to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games due to be held in Tokyo, the government hopes to launch the app to include 50 venues in multiple languages.

The app works by receiving a signal that would activate and guide spectators to safety, such as outside the stadium. It would offer maps and audio guidance, as well as being equipped with a function to present routes that avoid stairs for wheelchair users.

The Japanese government will conduct a feasibility test in 2018 at one or two venues for wheelchair users jointly with the private sector. It aims to put the app into practical use by September 2019 when the Rugby World Cup starts.

The app could also include additional features, such as providing updates on the congestion in a car park, or buying items without cash at stalls within the stadiums.

“To help each individual spectator evacuate, an app would be best,” said a senior official of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry in charge of developing the app, according to the Straits Times newspaper.

The government said it intends to include relevant costs for things such as feasibility tests in the fiscal 2017 supplementary budget.