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Japan Issues Warning to Tourists Against Unlicensed Taxis Amid Surge in Visitors

The Japanese government has issued a cautionary advisory to tourists, urging vigilance against the use of unlicensed taxis in Tokyo. This warning comes in response to a notable surge in transportation demands owing to the escalating number of foreign tourists visiting the city.

According to a report by Mainichi Shimbun on Saturday, Nov. 18, officials from Japan’s Ministry of Transport distributed leaflets in English and Chinese at Tokyo’s Narita Airport since the start of November. The leaflets serve as a warning against utilizing unlicensed taxis, highlighting both the illegal nature and safety hazards associated with these vehicles.

The published flyer explicitly states that unlicensed taxis pose a dual risk—they are illegal and unsafe. It further highlights a critical concern: passengers who sustain injuries while traveling in these unauthorized taxis might not receive coverage from their insurance providers.

Additionally, the informational flyer educates travelers on distinguishing between licensed and unlicensed taxis. Licensed taxis in Japan are identified by green license plates, while unlicensed taxis bear white license plates.

The head of the Chiba Prefectural Office under the Japanese Ministry of Transport emphasized the imperative of ensuring travel safety, stressing the necessity for travelers to exclusively use licensed taxis and properly regulated vehicles.

Despite the widespread popularity of ride-hailing services facilitated by mobile applications such as Uber and Grab in various countries, Japan strictly prohibits unlicensed vehicles from transporting passengers. Presently, while Uber operates within Japan, its services are limited to facilitating calls for licensed taxis exclusively.

The cautionary measures underscore Japan’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of tourists while navigating transportation services in Tokyo, urging adherence to authorized and regulated means of travel within the city.

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