Indications, POP Displays and Pictograms under the Guidelines for Multilingualization in the Retail Sales Industry Publicized for Downloading Free of Charge
October 3, 2019
The Project Team on Retail Sales (chair: Mr. Kenichi Niitsu, Director, the Japan Shopping Tourism Organization (JSTO): hereinafter referred to as the “project team”) under the Council for Multilingualization for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games (hereinafter referred to as the “council”) aims to encourage the retail sales industry as a whole to promote multilingualization in a more smooth and efficient manner and to provide overseas visitors in Japan with better omotenashi (hospitality) services. As one of the efforts to this end, the project team has formulated the Guidelines for Multilingualization in the Retail Sales Industry and prepared the indications, POP displays and pictograms under the guidelines. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that the project team publicized the indications, POP displays and pictograms for downloading free of charge from its official website.
Bearing in mind the forthcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Expo 2025, Osaka, Kansai, METI, in cooperation with the project team and stakeholders, will strive to advance efforts to enhance multilingualization in the retail sales industry.
1. Outline of the project team
The council was established in 2014, aiming to advance multilingualization of indications, signs and other information through collaboration and cooperation among related administrative organizations of the government, related municipalities, private associations, companies and other entities. This is part of the efforts for development of social environments toward the convening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in which overseas visitors are able to smoothly move around Japan and stay in Japan in a safe and comfortable manner. The council established three working groups focusing on: [i] transportation, [ii] roads and [iii] tourism and services (restaurants and accommodations), taking into consideration the basic demands of overseas tourists in Japan, and since then, these working groups and the project team have been advancing efforts for enhancement of multilingualization.
In advancing multilingualization in the retail sales industry, the project team focused on three fields: information descriptions at the entrances of shops, communication with overseas tourists as customers in service provision, and explanation of products, and stipulated common rules and developed support tools. Through these efforts, it has been encouraging the retail sales industry as a whole to provide better services to overseas tourists in Japan as an initiative for enhancing omotenashi services. The project team consists of: representatives of the Secretariat of the Council for Collaboration in the Manufacturing, Distribution and Retail Sales Industries as team members, the secretariat in which METI participates; and representatives of METI as observers. The council and METI have been supporting the project team in advancing its efforts.
2. Outline of the indications, POP displays and pictograms
The indications, POP displays and pictograms, publicized by the project team, aim to convey information to overseas visitors in Japan which they may consider necessary during their stay, and in particular, in visiting shops, from entering them to completing purchases. For this purpose, shop owners are recommended to display these indications at the entrances of their shops. The project teams prepared three situation-based groups of indications, POP displays and pictograms to be posted: [i] at the entrances of shops, [ii] inside the shops; and [iii] near cash registers of the shops.
For more information, see a press release concerning the indications, POP displays and pictograms publicized by JSTO in Appendix 1 or visit the website below for downloading such indications.
- Appendix 1: JSTO press release (October 3, 2019) (in Japanese)(PDF:293KB)
- Official website for downloading the indications, POP displays and pictograms (in Japanese)
3. Outline of the guidelines
The guidelines are a well-organized collection of: overseas case examples, domestic case examples, results of questionnaire surveys targeting overseas tourists in Japan, and lessons and knowledge from people involved in the retail sales industry, industrial associations and experts. The guidelines aim to serve as a guide to encourage more and more retail shops and retailers to further introduce multilingualization into their services in a prompt and efficient manner. The project team positions the guidelines as those to which the retail sales industry should accord on a voluntary basis and targets all retailers regardless of the type of business or sector, scale of shop or region.
For more information, see the guidelines in Appendix 2.
- Appendix 2: Guidelines for Multilingualization in the Retail Sales Industry (December 20, 2018)(PDF:3,717KB)
- Example of information signs indicated at the entrances of shops
- Example of stickers showing information signs indicated at the entrances of shops
Links to Related Information
Division in Charge
Consumer Affairs, Distribution and Retail Industry Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau