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There's no place like home, but Shin-Okubo Station is close

14 4 17

Few train stations around the world, if any, can rival Tokyo's Shin-Okubo Station in the number of languages used to help foreigners.

A prerecorded safety announcement reminds passengers to "walk on the right side of stairs and passageways" in more than 20 languages.

It was Hisashi Abe, the 59-year-old former stationmaster, who came up with this idea when he was asked by the local merchants' association to help foreign visitors who don't know their way around navigate so they do not obstruct others.

Abe was already well aware that a large number of foreign students who didn't speak Japanese were struggling to communicate with station attendants at turnstiles and ticket........

© The Asahi Shimbun