As the Rio Olympics enter full swing, Japan is also gearing up for another kind of competition, namely the race to nurture volunteer interpreters for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Next month, seven universities specializing in foreign languages — including Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies and Kansai Gaidai University — will jointly hold a four-day intensive seminar in Chiba Prefecture so students can brush up on their translation skills.

With their sights set on the Tokyo Olympics, the universities launched the program last year to allow students to deepen their knowledge about the Olympics, foreign culture and hospitality.