breaking news

Deputies kill dog after it attacks woman in Port Salerno

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

New ways to find and book the perfect vacation rental

Many travelers have grown accustomed to finding vacation rentals by going directly to sites like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. But these days you can find and book a rental halfway around the world in ways you may not have considered, or even know about: on traditional hotel and airfare booking websites like Expedia and Hotels.com, through the hotel review...
The Iowa State Fair is opening. Time to visit the Butter Cow
The Iowa State Fair is opening. Time to visit the Butter Cow

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 1 million people typically visit the Iowa State Fair each year, and sometimes it seems like every one of them is clustered around the Butter Cow's climate-controlled glass enclosure.  Here are some details about the creamy sculpture that has been an essential part of the fair since 1911.   WHY...
What mystery writer Sue Grafton can’t travel without
What mystery writer Sue Grafton can’t travel without

After more than 30 years writing the Kinsey Millhone “alphabet series” of detective novels, Sue Grafton is almost finished. The second to last, “Y Is for Yesterday,” will be published on Aug. 22. Grafton spends half the year in Santa Barbara, California, and the other half in Louisville, Kentucky. She and her husband travel...
In Japan, a rainbow garden
In Japan, a rainbow garden

Travel deals: $200 flights to Iceland and free hotel nights in the Caribbean

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  - Hilton Caribbean has a special with a $100 resort credit and a free fourth night. The Summer Sale deal applies to 16 hotels and resorts in nine destinations, including Barbados, Curacao, Aruba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. For example, four nights at the Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar Beach Resort...
More Stories