Japan introduces English road signs

Japan began introducing bilingual traffic signs on Saturday as the number of foreign visitors increases ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

By the time the games open, about 35,000 of the 140,000 stop signs in the capital will have been replaced with ones in both Japanese and English near the Olympic venues and in other areas, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

Along with the new stop signs, bilingual slow-down signs will also be introduced.

There are roughly 1.7 million stop signs and 1,000 slow-down signs in Japan, according to the National Police Agency.

In 2016, the number of foreign visitors hit a record 24 million. Against this backdrop, the agency has decided to change the signs to make them easier to understand for foreign travelers.

Priority is likely to be given to tourist destinations as well as areas around airports where many visitors rent cars.

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