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Hi Blog. In another turn of logic in Japan, where differentiation between foreigners and Japanese is so normal that it’s standard operating procedure for a significant amount of public policy, we have a case where “Foreign Driver” stickers have been created in Okinawa to call public attention to rental cars rented by foreigners. Of course, with this constant differentiation comes the facile logical conclusion by policymakers that foreigners get into accidents BECAUSE they are foreigners. And presto, more public policy that once again targets foreigners.
All the heart marks and polite language below in the “Foreign Driver” sign can’t compensate for that fact. Anyone want to find out if domestic NJ residents with Japanese driver licenses, who of course also become tourists if they travel within Japan, also get stuck with this sticker? Dr. ARUDOU, Debito
Foreigner Driving Stickers Appearing in Okinawa
Fukuoka Now Magazine, Oct. 23, 2015, courtesy of SB
The number of foreign visitors renting cars is on the rise. In fiscal 2014, the number of car rentals around Fukuoka Airport jumped 250% to 6,572. Meanwhile, the Kyushu District Transportation Bureau offers a ¥2,500 2-day “all-you-can-drive” expressway pass. In the three-month period of last October to December, about 2,000 foreign tourists used the service, and the bureau expects this year’s numbers to outstrip last year’s. In Okinawa, a spate of minor accidents has led car rental shops to put “Foreigner Driving” stickers on cars rented to foreign tourists.“I keep an eye out for rental cars with wa license plates now,” admits a local taxi driver, referring to the rental car license plates whose numbers are prefaced by the hiragana character wa (わ).
Source: Nishinippon Shimbun 10/22