Information Magazine for Foreigners Available in 8 LanguagesAssociation in Shiga Prefecture
A volunteer group of the Shiga Intercultural Association for Globalization is publishing an information magazine written in eight languages for foreigners living in Shiga Prefecture. At its original launch in 1995, it was written in three languages, but that has been increased through the cooperation of citizens and foreigners both in and around Shiga Prefecture. It features useful information for daily life and aims to foster a society where everyone can live with peace of mind, regardless of nationality.
The information magazine is called "Mimitaro." It has four pages on A4 size paper and is issued once every three months. Initially, it had a circulation of three thousand and was written in Japanese, English and Portuguese. In order to provide information to more foreigners, the magazine has gradually increased the languages used and its circulation numbers. Nowadays, it prints 18,000 copies and is written in eight languages: Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, simplified Chinese for Chinese readers, traditional Chinese for Taiwanese readers, and the original three languages. In the Japanese version, "hiragana" are printed beside Chinese characters and "katakana" to indicate their pronunciations.
The content focuses on the Japanese social system and local information. Explanations about the system have numerous technical terms, making it difficult for foreigners to understand information in Japanese that is necessary for living. In the January 2018 issue, there were explanations related to information that is familiar to foreign workers, for example, new rules for limited term contract workers, and educational funds such as scholarships.
Kumiko Takeya, a counselor at the Shiga Intercultural Association for Globalization who is involved in editing and publishing the magazine, said, "Individual nationalities and social backgrounds are diverse. We want to meet the occasional needs of readers, to help them better enjoy Japanese society."
The magazine is distributed for free at libraries and other public facilities in Shiga Prefecture. For more information, contact the Shiga Intercultural Association for Globalization at 077-523-5646.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)