• Nna/kyodo

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JTB Corp., Japan’s leading travel agency, and global electronics giant Panasonic Corp. have teamed up to offer hands-on assistance in English via teleconferencing to Malaysians planning to travel to Japan.

A double-screen monitor device located at a JTB outlet in the Aeon Mall complex in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, enables potential tourists to talk directly to JTB staff in Japan for inquiries such as the latest information on halal, or what is permissible under Islamic law.

The two companies picked the Japanese shopping mall as it is frequented by a large number of Muslim shoppers and to help those who will visit Japan for the first time, according to the Tokyo-based travel firm.

Panasonic has provided JTB with expertise in video and voice compression technologies to offer a comfortable chat environment through the device, the first machine of its kind installed overseas, said Shota Sato, manager of the Solution Marketing and Planning Department at Panasonic Malaysia, a local unit of the Japanese firm.

“We want to contribute to shortening waiting times and operating the outlet efficiently,” he added.

The number of Malaysian visitors to Japan totaled 439,548 in 2017, increasing 2.5-fold from 2013 when Malaysian nationals were exempted from short-stay visas, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

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