The Foreign Ministry began providing simultaneous interpretation in English for its minister’s news conference on Wednesday, a measure aimed at better communicating the country’s positions to the world.
The interpretation service, which would help members of the foreign press in attendance at news conferences at the ministry, “will heighten the communicative capacity of Japanese diplomacy,” Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said at the first simultaneously interpreted news conference at the briefing room refurbished with a special booth for interpreters.
“I hope to convey Japan’s stance to the international community in a precise manner,” Gemba said in Japanese.
Previously, only the ministry’s deputy press secretary held news conferences for members of the foreign press, with English as the working language, while the foreign minister’s news conferences were held in Japanese.
Taking note of the importance of disseminating information to the international community in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, the ministry decided to strengthen the capacity to get its messages across in English, according to ministry officials.
The new service got its funding in the second supplementary budget for the fiscal year through March.
Simultaneous interpretation has been provided at news conferences at the prime minister’s office since last mid-March.
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