New Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi said Friday that she would like to improve convenience and public Wi-Fi service ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

“I’m aware of strong needs for free public wireless LAN (local area network) service,” Takaichi, 53, told reporters during a group interview at the ministry. “The service would also be beneficial in the event of disasters, so I’d like to boost the infrastructure for it.”

Takaichi said Japan must make a better effort to get multilingual signs posted in public areas before the expected surge in visitors for the Summer Games in 2020.

Moreover, she said she has high expectations for progress to be made on an automatic translation system.

Takaichi, one of five women in Abe’s new Cabinet, was formerly the conservative Liberal Democratic Party’s policy chief. She is the first woman to head the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Takaichi said she is also interested in promoting telecommuting by making use of ICT (information and communication technology).

“(Telecommuting) would create jobs on remote islands or mountainous areas,” she said. “It is a great tool for letting people work regardless of place and time, and according to where you’re at in your life stage.

As for war-related Yasukuni Shrine, Takaichi said she plans to visit “as a Japanese citizen” and won’t try to advise Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the matter.

“I have visited (the shrine) with respect and appreciation for the spirits of the war dead,” Takaichi said. “I will visit as a Japanese citizen in the future.”

Official visits to the Shinto facility tend to anger Japan’s neighbors because Class-A war criminals are among the millions of war dead enshrined there.

Takaichi served as state minister in charge of Okinawa and the Northern Territories, science and technology policy, the declining birthrate and gender equality in Abe’s first Cabinet in his short-lived 2006-2007 term.

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