In 2017, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government estimated that the economic effects of the upcoming Olympic Games will be worth about $292 billion over a span of 17 years. In an attempt to cash in on this, a wide array of businesses in Japan have been ramping up preparations, including the taxi industry.
In January 2018, the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations formulated measures for the Olympics and Paralympics. The association set a goal of having 9,000 drivers taking English lessons by April, and over 16,000 have already completed them.
Only drivers who have completed at least a mid-level English course are allowed to pick up passengers at the international terminal at Haneda airport in Tokyo. To take the exam, which is designed to test communication skills, drivers must finish an advanced English course.