Tokyo police step up efforts to bolster multilingual assistance
Japan Times -- Sep 03
With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics less than a year away, Tokyo police are stepping up efforts to strengthen their foreign language assistance.

Aiming to improve police officers’ ability to provide directions, handle lost property claims and deal with other issues in foreign languages, the Metropolitan Police Department has been offering staff English conversation lessons. It has also been teaching them how to use a 29-language translation app, which officers stationed at kōban (police boxes) can utilize on their mobile devices.

It is hoped the recently introduced efforts will ease the burden on the department’s interpretation center, which handles cases that require foreign language communication.

Ayako Fujioka, 36, has volunteered to give lessons to fellow officers, holding several sessions every month since April and focusing on things like giving directions and offering other assistance in English.

A few dozen officers, mainly working at local police boxes, take part in each lesson. Among them, Yumeno Asaka, 23, said she has attended every one of the lessons.

News source: Japan Times
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