Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. is set to relocate part of its headquarters functions within Japan to enhance its response in the event of a massive earthquake hitting the Tokyo metropolitan area, sources familiar with the plan said Monday.

NTT will move a total of about 200 employees in charge of disaster response to Takasaki, northwest of Tokyo, and Kyoto in western Japan, the sources said. They will mainly engage in confirming damage and ensuring a quick recovery.

The function transfer will start on a trial basis as early as October, and the telecom giant will encourage its group companies to follow suit, according to the sources.

Both Takasaki and Kyoto can be accessed by shinkansen bullet trains. They were also considered suitable for emergency headquarters because adequate accommodations can be secured there.

During the trial, which will last for about a year, conference rooms and working space dedicated to this effort will be set up in its group companies in the two cities, the sources said.

NTT has introduced remote work as its new norm for around 30,000 domestic employees from this month, allowing for working and commuting from anywhere in Japan.

But the company decided that it needed to have more physical office space other than its Tokyo headquarters at the time of a disaster as it makes it easier for employees to communicate with each other closely.