Singapore's use of Japanese on signboards in a bid to lure more Japanese tourists has raised concern among some ethnic Indians who feel snubbed at the exclusion of their native Tamil language.

The city-state has four official languages — English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil — to accommodate its multiethnic population, which is mostly Chinese with many Malay and Indian minorities.

Signs are mostly in English, which is the administrative and working language.

But government offices often convey policy information in the four languages, as do announcements for passengers at commuter train stations.