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Japan to establish panel on disaster info for foreigners

Tokyo, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)–Japanese transport minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Wednesday that he will set up a panel to improve the dissemination of information to foreign visitors in times of disaster.

The panel will be established within autumn, he told a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.
   

The panel will consist chiefly of experts and officials from municipal governments and the transport and tourism industries, including railway, bus and airport operators, Japan Tourism Agency officials said.
   

For foreign visitors, the Japan National Tourism Organization posts disaster-related information on Twitter, and transport service companies deliver information online in various languages.
   

The panel will consider how to make the services known more widely.
   

When powerful Typhoon Hagibis hit Japan last weekend, the JNTO provided information on weather conditions and traffic situations in English on its official Twitter account @JapanSafeTravel, quoting content from Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, and the Japan Railways Group.
   

The number of followers of the account jumped from about 7,000 on Friday morning to some 22,000 by Monday, the agency officials said.

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