|Above, Asakusa's Nakamise Street. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
119, Japan's equivalent to our 911 emergency call number, will soon be available in other languages.
The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun) reported:
In preparation for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency is planning to provide 24-hour foreign language services for 119 emergency calls nationwide.
The Japanese government considers enabling rescue teams to respond to foreigners in need of medical attention due to sudden sickness or injury a form of omotenashi hospitality, providing travelers in Japan with an added sense of security.
The fire agency, which is governed by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, is aiming to provide the services in at least five languages — English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese — with help from private businesses that offer interpretation services.Other areas, depending upon their needs, will also have services in Russian, German or French.
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