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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meguro to air five-language radio program

Staff writer

Tokyo's Meguro Ward will launch a five-language radio program Tuesday in an effort to better inform its foreign residents about daily subjects, a ward official said.

Meguro Navi, a three-minute program to be broadcast weekdays at 6:30 a.m. on Inter FM (76.1 MHz), will provide information on events and daily living in Japan.

The program, to be aired in English, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean and basic Japanese, will also provide information on foreign resident registration, health examinations and other community news.

"We've had a variety of inquiries and questions from foreign residents in our ward. We believe it's significant to provide assistance through the radio program," said Masaaki Osada, a Meguro official.

There were 7,850 registered foreign residents in Meguro as of April, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Only three wards have fewer foreign residents, but the ratio of foreigners to the ward's total population "should have Meguro ranking pretty high," Osada said.

Meguro Navi will air in Chinese on Mondays, Korean on Tuesdays, Tagalog on Wednesdays and English on Thursdays. Friday's program will be in Japanese that will be comprehensible to foreigners with basic Japanese skills. The four foreign languages will cover approximately 70 percent of the foreign residents in Meguro, Osada said. The narrators will be native speakers.

In addition, feature broadcasts on disaster prevention, security issues and evacuation procedures to better prepare for quakes and other disasters will be broadcast during the fourth week of each month.

Shinagawa and Minato wards conduct similar broadcasts, but Osada said Meguro Navi will be the first community program to air completely in foreign languages.

For more information, contact Meguro Ward's foreign assistance line at (03) 5722-9187, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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