110 Police Emergency Number Available 12 LanguagesKyoto Prefectural Police Starts Call Center
On June 1, Kyoto Prefectural Police began operation of a multilingual foreigner support call center for 110 calls available 24 hours a day. The system enables three persons, who include a police officer, the caller and a nongovernmental interpreter, to talk simultaneously, covering 12 languages, including ones such as English and Chinese. In response to the increasing number of foreign visitors, the center will link a quick grasp of the situation and the initial response.
According to the Kyoto Prefectural Police announcement, the number of 110 calls from foreigners, who can't speak Japanese reached 146 in 2016. This is 24 times the number of calls made five years ago.
Until now, the Kyoto Prefectural Police had assigned an English-speaking staff member to the communications command center at all times. From now on, however, they have decided to outsource this service to an interpretation company, in expectation of the number of 110 calls by foreigners to further increase.
At the discretion of the staff member receiving the 110 call, the call is connected to the interpretation company, and the staff member can understand the caller's report as stated via an interpreter. Five languages, English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese, can be interpreted 24 hours a day. Seven additional languages, such as Thai and Tagalog, are available from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
An official in this section said, "As the Tokyo Olympics approach, the number of foreign tourists will increase from now on. We want to respond well to visitors so they can spend time in Kyoto without anxiety."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)