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Need for foreign language disaster alerts for travelers rises in Japan

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Quick thinking young lady and once again proves the willingness of the Japanese people’s exceptance of foreign visitors to there country. An ancient custom still practiced today. I’ll always Love the country and the people of the Rising Sun, Sincerely !

That, sir would be a huge contradiction. Whereas hats off to the young lady (sincerely), if it were such a strong will on the part of the majority of the local populace, she wouldn’t be needing to do that anyway. There’d be enough in way of procedure. No?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Almost 8 years after 3/11, and "foreign languages during emergencies is becoming a top priority"? I thought Japan was a foreigner friendly country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Now, that’s funny! Most Japanese study English for 6-10 years, but less than 10% have a TOEIC score above 650. The other 90% struggle to get passed, “I’m fine thank you. And you?”

Exactly they study English, like they study science, math, and social studies too! The TOEIC test used here in Japan is no measure of communicative ability either, it's just another test adapted by a Japanese man to supposedly help to measure the ability of a person's business English ability.

Very few take the speaking and writing portions of the test.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TOEIC#TOEIC_in_Japan

Oh and you are very generous in saying 650.....I know plenty of people who have taken the TOEIC here and they average well below 400!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Congratulations to the thoughtful passenger who intervened.

A number of things might be considered when planning for possible earthquakes or disasters.

Clear recorded messages to fit the situation and announcements on the scrolling marquee (on the trains which have them) in multiple languages would be helpful.

Appropriate apps might be designed.

Information about such apps could be provided to all the non-Japanese speaking visitors as they are queuing to be fingerprinted at their port of entry to the country.

As an earthquake/disaster kit that locals have on hand for emergencies is not the sort of thing a traveler could easily put together or carry with them, I would also like to recommend that a small, basic kit be provided guests when they register at a hotel or long term rental accommodation.

A substantial deposit for the kit could be applied to the room/apartment rate and would be credited back to the customer would ensure that the bag remained in its place on departure.

I'm sure there are other simple and practical ideas which might help visitors to Japan to deal with emergency situations should they arise.

In the absence of such information, my strategy to date has been to take my chances that nothing will happen. Not the wisest choice of action.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why don’t the staff get language training?

Proper language training....

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kintetsu line in Kansai now has conductors carry and plug in an ipad-type device that has different announcements in different languages. The conductor is free to select a short or long message before each stop in multiple languages. I have seen them vary the messages based on the presumed makeup of passengers. Adding emergency announcements in multiple languages would be relatively inexpensive.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Quick thinking young lady and once again proves the willingness of the Japanese people’s exceptance of foreign visitors to there country. An ancient custom still practiced today. I’ll always Love the country and the people of the Rising Sun, Sincerely !

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

It only makes sense for all the foreign travelers who come to Japan, and I know there are many. These are visitors and a little accommodations for the visitors can be a big help, if you want to keep your tourism. Of course internationally recognized symbols are a plus. It can make a BIG difference. And on top of that, that means more jobs for translators and the travel industry.

It just makes sense. You want foreign guests to feel welcome and in case of an emergency these people need help too. It's too bad that right now in America there is such a stench of smug nationalistic attitudes of jingoism and pure outright hatred. America didn't achieve it's 'greatness' with that arrogant position,

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Very good to see some (very few, though) locals taking a step forward. On the other hand if this is being realized now, the foreigners already living here since god knows when, have thus far been dispensable? Cool.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I always want to give a kick in the butt to the local NHK broadcaster that puts out a warning in English for English speakers, but the Korean and Chinese warning are all written in Japanese....DOH!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Maybe they could start teaching English in junior and senior high school...

I don't think 'This is a pen' is that useful in an earthquake.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@expat - Maybe they could start teaching English in junior and senior high school

Now, that’s funny! Most Japanese study English for 6-10 years, but less than 10% have a TOEIC score above 650. The other 90% struggle to get passed, “I’m fine thank you. And you?”

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Maybe they could start teaching English in junior and senior high school...

12 ( +16 / -4 )

One with common sense or savvy would think with it being 2018, millions of foreigners visiting, and the multiple major events that have plagued Japan during a time of crisis and No speakito Engrish...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Just like the typhoon alert we had a day ago. I’ve saw some srilanka people walking through the rain casually, while the city hall speakers were broadcasting alerts for people to seek shelter.

But well, I’ve seen so many guys saying “it’s their problem, we are in Japan, they should learn japanese instead”, so I just gave up on trying to hit the “multilingual support” card.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

That's GREAT; that's really COOL that she DID that, however:

It doesn't take a genius to figure out trains STOP for a reason.

When I was on Tobu Line just South of Ueno and there was a Train Jumper, I didn't

speak / understand Japanese much at the time, but common sense will seep in, whether

you speak the language or not, you can figure it out.

-27 ( +4 / -31 )

With over 2 million visitors to Japan every year who have absolutely no idea what the heck these announcements are about, it's probably a good idea to include some multilingual services, don't you think? How about they include the earthquake alerts on phones in other languages? The first time mine went off I had no idea what it was. I thought I'd won the lottery!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

They are JUST realizing this??

16 ( +19 / -3 )

"The tourism agency has also upgraded the functions of a safety app..." and "The new information provided through the app...".

Why so coy about naming the app so we non Japanese can download it?????

7 ( +9 / -2 )

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