When visitors to Japan fall ill, finding a doctor who can communicate with them in their mother tongue can be a difficult task.

Medical professionals, interpreters and local government officials addressed the problem at a symposium in Tokyo on May 31.

Building a network of medical institutions, pharmacies and interpreters is urgently needed as the number of foreign travelers here is on the rise, said Toshimasa Nishiyama, professor in charge of the foreign patients section at Kansai Medical University in Osaka Prefecture.