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The Tokyo Metropolitan and Kanagawa Prefectural governments are each working separately to set up a network of multilingual volunteers to help foreign residents if disaster strikes.

The metropolitan government established its volunteer registration system last year, but has taken few steps to organize the 630 participants. It will hold a series of lectures on disaster management for the volunteers beginning Dec. 16. Further meetings are scheduled on Dec. 18 and Jan. 7, 20 and 28, with additional ones possible depending on participant response, metro officials said.

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