Hinomaru Transportation Co Ltd, looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, aims to serve the growing number of overseas visitors by leading the way in recruitment of foreign workers into the Japanese taxi industry.
In response to a labor shortage due to Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population, Hinomaru is promoting measures to supplement its taxi driver numbers by leading the industry in diversity recruitment.
Meanwhile, testing of self-driving taxis has also begun, as another way to cope with the driver shortage.
Hinomaru said it aims to bring the transportation industry into the future through technology and diversity hiring. To help this industry transition, the "Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi" program was prepared.
Hinomaru has already recruited bilingual personnel living in Japan from countries such as Egypt, India, Poland, Austria, France, and more as taxi drivers. The company has instituted a pioneering employee support and paid training program for these Japanese-speaking foreign workers so they may obtain the proper license and certification in order to join the previously closed taxicab industry in Japan.
What is the 'Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi' Program?
A way of classifying drivers that can provide high-quality services specific to tourism, through specialized knowledge and abilities, particularly for overseas visitors.The Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi Driver Certification System has been granted to those who passed the "Tokyo Sightseeing Guide Test", "Universal Driver Training" and "Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi Driver Certified Training." At this time, more than 1,500 certified drivers are active.
Some of Hinomaru’s foreign drivers
Having worked at an inn in Hiroshima gaining experience in the hospitality industry, he is skilled at reading and writing in three languages -- Egyptian Arabic, English and Japanese. His motivation is to provide for his wife and children.
A graduate from Beijing Language and Culture University, she is currently studying at Waseda University and works to provide for her two children. This inspiring woman speaks six languages.
After teaching French in Japan for several years, Nicolas was inspired to change his career in order to provide a better lifestyle for his family. Besides French, he speaks English and Japanese.
Prior to joining Hinomaru, he worked as a machine tool maker and also as a tour conductor, displaying both technical and communication skills. Speaking Japanese, English and German, he is able to utilize all his various skills as a Sightseeing Taxi driver.
Currently, Hinomaru employs drivers of 11 nationalities, with plans to hire at least four new employees per month this year in order to better serve inbound tourism.
Breakdown: Brazil 1, Korea 1, China 6, Egypt 2, France 1, Austria 1, India 1, U.S. 1 Poland 1, Sri Lanka 1, Philippines 1.
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