The Japan Tourism Agency plans to issue multilingual guidelines for disaster response for foreign tourists in Japan. The agency said it will work closely with local governments and tourism centers around the country.
As the number of foreign visitors to Japan continues to increase (more than 10 million so far this year), so too do the number of individuals who have little or no knowledge of what to do in the event of an earthquake, tsunami or major volcanic eruption. The agency said on its website that foreign tourists who have never experienced an earthquake, for example, may panic.
The new guidelines require tourism centers to provide information regarding disaster response and how to find shelters during an emergency in multilingual formats. Centers will also be equipped with non-perishable food provisions, including halal food for Muslim tourists.
In an effort to prevent widespread panic and potential loss of life, the agency has created a number of easy to follow guidelines for foreigners regarding disaster response with sentences like, “ Protect your head and take shelter under a sturdy table or desk,” and “In the event of an evacuation, under no circumstances should you try and use an elevator.”
Municipalities across the country are collecting information regarding multilingual persons capable of on-the-spot interpretation as well as moving toward the establishment of systems to support medical examinations in various languages.
The agency also said on its website that a free phone app titled “Safety tips” will provide emergency reports in the event of an earthquake, tsunami or other disaster.© Japan Today