Local News

Fukuoka Leads with Multilingual Driver’s License Exams for Foreigners

In response to the transport industry’s driver shortage, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police have pioneered the option for bus and taxi drivers to take their Class 2 driver’s license academic tests in four foreign languages, marking a first in the nation. This initiative, effective from the 27th, offers tests in English, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Nepali across four designated testing centers within the prefecture. To further accommodate non-Japanese speakers, devices capable of displaying questions about acquiring a driver’s license abroad in subtitles translated into 134 languages have been introduced, with a demonstration held at an Iizuka City testing center.

This move is grounded in sample questions prepared by the National Police Agency, adapted by each prefectural police force for their respective exams. Fukuoka leads the way in Japan, offering foreign language exams to address the pressing need for drivers in the bus and taxi sectors. These industries not only grapple with persistent labor shortages but also face the impending “2024 problem” related to tightening driver work hour regulations. To tackle these challenges, the government is poised to include the automotive transport sector in the “Specified Skills” program, aimed at easing labor shortages by welcoming foreign workers.

Koichi Inada, from the Fukuoka Prefectural Police Headquarters’ Driver’s License Examination Division, emphasized their commitment to creating a conducive testing environment for foreign nationals. The meticulous translation and verification process ensures the test content remains consistent across languages, safeguarding fairness and accessibility for all candidates. Source: NHK

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Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: Mar 28, 2024 / Last Updated: Mar 28, 2024

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