Tokyo, Japan – On March 26th, Kotozna, Inc. and Usuki City announced utilizing multilingual translation platform “Kotozna Group Chat” for tourism as well as studying and utilizing its application for disaster prevention. The R&D collaboration is a world first and the findings based on a country prone to natural calamities may lead to worldwide interest and implementation.
Kotozna, Inc and Usuki City of Oita Prefecture will enter into a Utilization of Multilingual Platform “Group Chat” in Emergency Information Transmission Experiment Agreement. This agreement will allow multilingual information dispersion in an emergency for the increasing non-Japanese residents as well as assisting tourists that are predicted to increase with inbound promotion.
As part of its social contribution activities, Kotozna, Inc. will provide free of charge 2 functionalities to the municipality. One is two-way tourist information exchange function for Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Kanao Talk and LINE, another is a one-way disaster information dispersion function in an emergency. Kotozna, Inc. together with Usuki City will further investigate and develop effective methods of utilizing the technology.
Disaster information will use L alerts recommended by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and public information and Usuki’s local information may be transmitted to both Japanese and non-Japanese.
< About Kotozna Group Chat >
“Kotozna Group Chat” allows users to type in their native language on their preferred messaging platform and exchange information based on a “Group Chat” theme.
Japan is seeing a growing influx of visitors from all around the world and is predicted to have 40 million annual visitors by 2020. However, Japan still struggles from language barriers and the top complaint from foreign visitors is the “inability to communicate with local staff” (Japan Tourism Agency 2016 survey). Combined with the fact that Japan is prone to natural disasters with emergency information being in Japanese, there is an urgent demand for multilingual communication.
“Kotozna Group Chat” was developed to combat the language barrier. The company bridges different messaging apps so they can communicate with each other, and simultaneously run AI based machine translation. We serve real-time translation of 104 languages including English, Chinese, Korean, French and Spanish, and photos may be uploaded to the chat.
As Usuki City will be hosting Rugby World Cup this year, our “group chat” functionality to provide both tourist communication and emergency preparedness information led to our R&D agreement with the city.
□Usuki City Group Chat
Scan below QR code on your smartphone and you can see Usuki City Group Chat Web.
< Kotozna Group Chat Track Records >
Kotozna, Inc. launched initial test runs in Kyushu district with success. Examples of the “Kotozna Group Chat” test in each city can be seen here:
Fukuoka city, Fukuoka Prefecture
Yufuin, Oita Prefecture
Usuki city, Oita Prefecture
Saiki city, Oita Prefecture
Takeo city, Oita Prefecture
< Kotozna Group Chat Service Application >
1．As a tool to communicate with foreign tourists as well as a medium to broadcast tourist information in multiple languages
2．As a tool in commercial venues for staff to communicate with non-Japanese and Japanese speakers regarding their information
3．As a business tool for companies for Japanese employees to communicate with foreign employees
4．As a translation tool to use at international exhibits or forums
Kotozna, Inc. is working to expand its application to all scenarios.
□ About kotozna chat
“kotozna chat” is a service launched in September 2018 by Kotozna, Inc. It is a multi-lingual, real-time translation, cross-platform service, serving inbound travelers.
A conversation starts with reading the counterpart’s QR code. No download is necessary and the service is free. Kotozna, Inc. estimates it will have 500,000 users by the end of 2019, and 5 million users around the world by 2020.
< Press Contact >
Kotozna PR Office Ms. Goto
fax : +81-50-3383‐4676
For all written correspondence :
Kotozna PR Office c/o La creta Inc.
Sakuragaokacho 31-14, Okasan Sakuragaoka Building, Slack Shibuya 7F
Shibuyaku, Tokyo 150-0031 Japan
< About Kotozna, Inc. >
Formerly known as Jaqool, Inc. until September 2018, Kotozna, Inc. has been providing multi-language translation services with QR codes since 2016. It has supplied QR codes to over 3000 restaurants, hotels and tourist spots in and around Kyushu region through “Trip’nScan”, a service that allows visitors use their smartphones to understand Japanese signage and documents. Kotozna, Inc. is a member of the “QR code multi-language translation project” which was selected as the “2017 Oita Prefecture IoT Promotional Project”. Kotozna, Inc was found by Genri Goto, founder and former CEO of Kenko.com, and Takaaki Kamio, founder of Mindpallet, which was known for Snapee, a photography social network.
Moto-Akasaka 1-7-20, KIZUNA WEST 1F,
Minatoku, Tokyo 107-0051, Japan
Daimyo 2-12-12, Akasaka Sangyo Building 4F,
Chuoku, Fukuokashi 810-0041, Japan
< About Genri Goto, CEO >
Goto co-found Jaqool, Inc. (now Kotozna, Inc.) in October 2016 and was appointed CEO. He simultaneously assumed the role of Representative Director of TagFIT, a general incorporated association. Prior to this Goto was the founder of Healthy Net, Inc. (Now Kenko.com, Inc.) spanning 2 decades as CEO. Goto listed the company in 2004. In 2013, he won a Supreme Court ruling against the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, paving the way to sell general medicine online. Goto has served as the chairman of Japan Online Drug Association, and has been a World Economic Forum member and member of numerous commissions at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as well as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. He has worked at Accenture after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Tokyo University. Goto holds a Master of Public Management degree from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.