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Seibu Railway Raises the Bar With Simultaneous Translation for Foreign Visitors

Seibu Railway, with trains to popular tourist spots, is implementing a cutting-edge simultaneous translation system to help the influx of foreign tourists.



VoiceBizⓇUCDisplay | © TOPPAN INC.

With the recent easing of border controls amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has witnessed a surge in foreign visitors. This has prompted Seibu Railway to enhance its services and cater to the needs of these travelers.

A transparent screen has been installed at the ticket office of Seibu Shinjuku Station, a convenient terminus for the Seibu Shinjuku Line located in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward

An Innovative Communication Tool

This innovative screen measures 69 centimeters in height and 75 centimeters in width. And it acts as an interpreter, translating the statements made by international passengers. 

The system aims to facilitate effective communication between station staff and tourists. This, Seibu believes, will help enable a seamless travel experience for non-Japanese speakers.

The screen was unveiled to the media on July 5. Seibu Railway then launched public trials on July 10. 

Trial installation at Seibu Shinjuku Station

It provides translation support for 12 different languages, including English, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, and Filipino. 

Seibu Railway's forward-thinking initiative takes the company beyond the use of conventional translation tools, such as apps. It smartly enables face-to-face conversation and visual aid through the transparent screen.

Helping Japanese Travelers, Too

Foreign tourists are not the only ones assisted by the screen. It can also display Japanese text for local individuals with hearing impairments. This helps when communicating with the station staff, ensuring accessibility for a broader range of passengers. 

A three-month trial is underway by the company. Plans call for fully implementing the system in autumn, after evaluation of its accuracy and user-friendliness.

Toppan Inc, a renowned Japanese printing company, collaborated with Seibu Railway to bring the groundbreaking simultaneous translation system to life.


As Japan continues to welcome a growing number of international visitors, Seibu Railway's adoption of the simultaneous translation system reflects the company's ー and the country's ー dedication to providing seamless experiences for tourists. 


Author: Shaun Fernando

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