National

To aid tourism, Japan to expand language support and offer free Wi-Fi on 300 bus and train routes

Kyodo

The government said Friday it plans to provide multilingual information and free Wi-Fi access on 300 public transport routes as it steps up efforts to boost inbound tourism.

As a first step, foreign language support and free Wi-Fi will be made available on 100 local bus and train routes running between airports and popular tourist sites by March 2020, with the government subsidizing roughly half the cost. The government plans to launch services on another 200 routes later in 2020.

Special liaisons will also be posted at 87 tourist spots, including UNESCO World Heritage sites and national parks, to assist existing English tour guides.

The government also plans to install equipment to aid in the streamlining of immigration screening processes at Haneda airport, Hakata port in Fukuoka Prefecture and Hitakatsu port in Nagasaki Prefecture by March 2020.

These efforts are aimed at achieving the government’s goal of attracting 40 million foreign visitors by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In 2018, a record 31.19 million foreign tourists visited Japan, up 8.7 percent from the previous year.

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