National / Politics

Government plans nationwide network of translation systems to help non-Japanese speakers

JIJI

The government plans to introduce translation systems at about 100 consultation offices to be set up across Japan to provide assistance to foreigners, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga revealed Sunday.

The translation systems will be included in a package of measures the government plans to draw up by the end of the year following the enactment this month of the revised immigration control law to allow more foreigners to join the nation’s workforce.

In a speech in the city of Fukuoka, Suga said the translation systems will be expanded to cover about 100 locations, in all 47 prefectures and all ordinance-designated major cities, as well as other municipalities that have many foreign workers.

Some ¥2 billion in tax revenue grants to local governments will finance the project, he said.

The top government spokesman also said the government will make it possible for foreigners to conclude mobile phone contracts by presenting residence cards as identification, and stressed the need to conduct periodic checks on whether Japanese-language schools are operated appropriately.

In addition, the government will work out steps to prevent abuse of the medical insurance system through the use of others people’s insurance cards, according to Suga.

Referring to the concept of a society where people are active throughout their lifetime, as promoted by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Suga said the government will consider raising the retirement age for public servants from 60 to 65.