Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
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Policy Bureau
General Principles of Universal Design Policy
III. Specific measures

8. Flexible response to various people and activities

   The removal of barriers from tourist regions is promoted by preparing basic concepts suited to tourist regions and removing barriers from hotels and other lodging facilities.
   The creation of an environment in which people unfamiliar with the local geography or foreigners can walk alone is supported by encouraging the provision of guide signs designed considering the needs of foreigners and other people unfamiliar with the local geography, introducing information provision systems using foreign languages at public transportation facilities, training and ensuring guide-interpreters *16 knowledgeable about regional tourism in Japan, supporting activities by volunteer guides, and training tourist facility personnel.
   The stimulation of tourism based on the concept of universal design is comprehensively encouraged by accompanying the creation of environments that are barrier free so people can walk alone with support for activities of NPO that work to create tourist regions based on the concept of universal design and for the production of travel products usable by foreigners, elderly people and handicapped people.

*16  Guide - interpreter: A person who is paid to travel with foreigners to provide them with travel guidance in a foreign language. To become a guide interpreter, a person must, in accordance with the provisions of the Guide Interpreting Business Law (will change to the Guide-Interpreter Law in April 2007) pass a national test and receive a license from the prefectural governor (registration after the enforcement of the revised law). Beginning in April 2007, a new qualification will be established; that of Regional Guide-Interpreter who will be able to perform this work only in a prefecture, under the provisions of the Law for the Stimulation of International Tourism by Encouraging the Improvement of Regions Visited by Foreign Tourists.
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