People of foreign nationality who come to Miyagi Prefecture are often acquainted with Japanese culture. However, difficulties with the Japanese language can impede communication and in certain cases cause misunderstandings, sometimes to a detrimental degree.
The Miyagi International Association (MIA) sponsors and coordinates a number of Japanese language courses and consultation services throughout Miyagi Prefecture. However, Miyagi Prefecture perceived the need to do more for the foreign residents of Miyagi.
In order to create a favorable living environment for all of Miyagi's citizens, whether of Japanese or foreign nationality, in the beginning of FY 2004, Miyagi Prefecture implemented a project to provide support to Miyagi's foreign nationals. It is Miyagi Prefecture's hope that this project will make Miyagi Prefecture a more welcoming home, whether that home is temporary or permanent, for people of foreign nationality.
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Miyagi Support Center for Foreign Nationals
This center is available to foreign residents for consultation regarding problems and/or questions. Information and referrals to appropriate organizations are provided in five languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese.
Disaster Volunteer Interpreter Program
In an emergency, it is impossible to provide adequate support while there is a language barrier. This program allows people to register to be disaster volunteer interpreters, especially important considering the high probability of a large Miyagi earthquake.