Japan Aims to Systematize English Traffic Signs for the Upcoming Tokyo Olympics

A year before the much awaited 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Japanese government in coordination with the Organizing Committee for the Olympic games, is preoccupied in its preparation for the multi national sports event.


To ensure public safety and the smooth flow of the games, the transport ministry of Japan has previously conducted a test run to control traffic congestion by controlling the number of commuters during rush hour especially in major cities where the Olympics will be held.


Photo credit to: https://manila-shimbun.ph

In addition to the traffic related measures to be undertaken by the government, the Transport Ministry of Japan also seeks to systematize English translations on road signages all over Japan in order to cater to overseas spectators and foreign nationals who will be participating in the Olympics and Paralympics.


According to reliable sources, the ministry will prepare traffic descriptions in the English language that are meant to be readily understandable for international guests. They aspire to put up signages that are consistent with English travel guidebooks and maps of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.


The Traffic Ministry urges each prefecture across the country to organize local committees in order to discuss salient details such as the names of places and facilities that will be described in the English language Around 19,800 signages in Tokyo area as well as Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama Prefectures are already in the process of being improved by the ministry. These four sites are intended to host various Olympic and Paralympic events.


As of the moment, the English descriptions have been finalized in over thirteen thousand traffic signs in a manner that is consistent with the language used in the official Olympic guidebook. For instance, “Odaibakaihin Park” in Tokyo was changed to “Odaiba Marine Park.” Furthermore, pictographs and inverted text colors have also been set up for specific signs near the identified Olympic venues and public facilities.


Reference: Japan to standardize English road signs in run-up to 2020 Tokyo Olympics


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