Japan eyes certification for guide interpreters for foreign visitors


TOKYO - The central government intends to create a certification for regionally based guide interpreters that local governments will grant to people who participate in training sessions, in response to the rapid increase in foreign visitors to Japan. 

The government plans to submit a bill to revise the Licensed Guide Interpreters Law to the current Diet session.  

Unlike existing national qualifications, regionally based guide interpreters will be certified by prefectures, cities, towns and villages that grant them on their own, according to the bill. Each local government will compile a plan to develop guide interpreters and conduct training sessions necessary for awarding the qualification.  

Guide interpreters accompany tourists for a fee. But some have said they cannot sufficiently handle the demand from foreign tourists for services in regional areas such as going for a stroll in a town or hiking in the mountains.  

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, there are about 20,000 certified guide interpreters nationwide, but 75 percent of them are based in Tokyo, Osaka Prefecture and other urban areas. The government aims to draw foreign tourists into regional areas with the certification for regionally based guide interpreters.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

The one bright spot in Penn Station's summer

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency over New York's dreadful commuting situation in late June, locals didn't think things could get any worse.  It turned out they could, at least at Penn Station, the epicenter of the so-called "summer of hell." Earlier this year the Pennsy, the year-and-a-half-old food hall at 2 Penn...
A new way to travel as a family
A new way to travel as a family

Austin-based travel entrepreneur Keith Waldon believes the best way to create global citizens is to start when they’re young. With this mission in mind, he and business partner Christie Holmes of Nashville have introduced Global CommUnity, a travel planning company aimed specifically at families that offers an array of curated weeklong itineraries...
An Oregon sampler
An Oregon sampler

It’s hard to decide which Oregon to explore. Do we gape at the Columbia Gorge waterfalls? Scarf seafood overlooking the rocky coast? Devour a serving of Shakespeare in a small town? Plunge inland through deep forests to Crater Lake? Or revel in Portland’s food scene? All. We want it all. We’re off in a rental car for a two-week grand...
No Trump slump in tourism but there could be a Trump bump
No Trump slump in tourism but there could be a Trump bump

NEW YORK (AP) -- Last winter, the U.S. tourism industry fretted that Trump administration policies might lead to a "Trump slump" in travel.  But those fears may have been premature. International arrivals and travel-related spending are up in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016.   There might even be a "Trump bump...
Travel Tips: resources for drinking well
Travel Tips: resources for drinking well

Travelers today face a wealth of good options when it comes to drinking wine and beer. “I think today you can be surprised most everywhere,” said Pascaline Lepeltier, beverage director at the restaurant Rouge Tomate in New York City.  But the variety can be overwhelming, especially when exploring a new place.   Here, beverage...
More Stories