We have recently founded the TagFIT Association. TagFIT is short for "Tag For Inbound Travellers", and the company itself is a non-profit corporation that was established in order to create and deploy tags (QR codes) for travellers from overseas. If you've travelled abroad in the past, did you ever have a hard time because you didn't understand what was written on restaurant menus, or inside the airport, taxis and other forms of transport? Many tourists who come to Japan have encountered difficulties due to the language barrier in a country that is not able to offer full multilingual support. We want to remove this language barrier as much as we can, and by doing so, allow travellers from overseas to have a better understanding of Japan; TagFIT is engaged in the development of social infrastructure for that very reason.
What does TagFIT do?
TagFIT will issue QR codes for any textual information that travellers from overseas are struggling with. It won't be restricted to just restaurant menus, signs in airports, taxis and other forms of transport, but also information signs in hotels, explanatory plaques in art galleries and museums, and anywhere else where tourists feel a language barrier, we will be there to issue a QR code free of charge. TagFIT (and affiliated companies) will utilise the information attached to each QR code to offer translation and other services via your smartphone or other device. Restaurants, hotels and public transport that have been issued with QR codes will be able to welcome tourists in their native language, free of charge.
Why did you launch TagFIT?
This is a bit of a personal story, but after I stepped down from my previous job, I spent 2 years travelling to over 20 countries, including a year spent at graduate schools in Singapore and Boston. At that time, the inconvenience I felt when I travelled to countries where I didn't understand the language really stuck with me. Travelling in Cambodia, Myanmar, Israel and other countries where I couldn't read the language was particularly difficult. Whilst I was having such an experience, I once again realised that tourists coming to Japan feel the same kind of inconvenience. There's also the fact that I happened to be studying public management at the time, and I made up my mind to leverage the power of the people to create a new social infrastructure, and what resulted from that is TagFIT.
When will TagFIT's services begin?
Currently, as well as developing the system for issuing QR codes, TagFIT is looking for employees (and affiliated companies) who can provide translation and other services using QR codes. The service is predicted to start in a limited area in 2017.
TagFIT is still a very new organisation, but we want to do our bit to help in removing the language barrier. I'd love for those of you who have just read this introduction to help in any way you can towards building a new social infrastructure together. I look forward to working with you.
TagFIT Head Director
Genri Goto is a business owner, serial entrepreneur and social entrepreneur. After working for 5 years at Accenture as a strategy consultant, in 1994 he founded Healthy Net, Inc. (now Kenko.com, Inc.). After a span of 20 years as the company's president, Goto lead Kenko.com to be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Market of the High-growth and Emerging Stocks (Mothers) in 2004. He sued Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare concerning the online sale of medicines, winning the lawsuit in 2013 at the Supreme Court. Goto has served as the chairman of the NPO Japan Online Drug Association, a member of the World Economic Forum and as a member of the investigative commission at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Goto has been the Founder and CEO of JaQool, Inc. since October 2016. He holds a first-class Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from the University of Tokyo, and a Master in Public Management from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Ichiro Asahina joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 1997. As the head of the NPO, Project K (a group of young bureaucrats aimed at making new government departments), he proposed government reforms. After serving the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for 12 years, he established Aoyama Shachu Corporation in 2010. Assuming the role of CEO, he is engaged in the training of young leaders, policy-making and regional revitalisation. He also works as a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy in Chuo University, an adviser on economic activities for regional governments (Sanjo, Nasushiobara, Kawasaki and Numata cities), an adviser on creating regional strength for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and as the regional producer of Cool Japan for the cabinet office. He has written many books, such as "The Power of Overdoing". He graduated with a BA in Law from the University of Tokyo, and received a master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Mizuho Okumoto founded the design company Eclipse in 1998, whilst still enrolled at Musashino Art University. In 2005, she established the Japan Web Designers Association, and assumed the role of president there for 4 years. She gives lectures and speeches on logical web design at colleges and universities. Mizuho transferred her business at the end of 2009. After this, she transferred to Fukuoka to recharge. She resumed activities at Eclipse in December, 2015. In the spring of 2016, she opened E-cumo Nursery, and E-cumo Kitchen (cafe and restaurant) on the ground floor of the office, for the staff and local children.
Taichi Goto is the founder, president and project designer of Region Works LLC. He is also a visiting professor at the Art, Science and Technology Center for Cooperative Research, Kyushu University, and on the board of directors of Kamiyama TSUNAGU Corporation. He acts as Regional Commissioner for Asia in the International Urban Development Association (INTA). Goto joined Kajima Corporation in 1992. In 1998, he worked for the Growth Management department of Metro, the regional government of Portland, Oregon, USA. He relocated to Fukuoka from Tokyo in 2003, where he set up effective public-private partnerships such as the We Love Tenjin Association, Tenjin Meiji-dori Development Council and the Fukuoka Directive Council. He is currently engaged in projects centred around food, tourism, real estate, finance and public services, that open up future possibilities for local regions. Taichi Goto holds a bachelor's degree in Urban Planning from The University of Tokyo, and a master's in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and a first-class registered architect in Japan.
Ikuno Funayama was born in Oita prefecture in 1977. After graduating with a degree in Economics from Oita University, she worked at several companies, such as an advertising agency, before joining Kenko.com in 2003. As the head of Kenko.com's Rakuten and Yahoo! Shopping branches, Ikuno was responsible for various promotional planning and public relations in general. Now based in Fukuoka, she lectures and advises on the advancement of publicity and retail using the internet.
TagFIT is enabling international exchange
by removing the language barrier.
Distributing QR codes for information
that needs to be made multilingual
Constructing databases of information
that needs to be made multilingual
Providing this information
to affiliated companies*
*multilingual translation agencies,
mobile app developers, etc.
Hotel Shiragiku ”HamaKiku”
Let's work together
TagFIT is looking for partners to work together in this endeavour.
1. Affiliate companies (employees of corporations) TagFIT is looking for companies that can provide multilingual translation and mobile services utilising the QR codes that we distribute. For more information, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Office employees of TagFIT We are looking for people to work full-time or contracted at the TagFIT office in Fukuoka or remotely. We are especially looking for people to perform the following roles:
- Development and operation of information systems
- Operations to disseminate QR codes (mainly for local governments)
- Back office duties such as general business affairs and accounting
For more information, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
3. Businesses that require multilingual translation We aim to distribute QR codes to businesses requiring multilingual translation (restaurants, hotels, etc.) free of charge in principle. Distribution is scheduled to start in 2017. Once the specific start date and regions for distribution have been decided, we will announce them on this website.
- Company name
- TagFIT Association
- Head Director
- Genri Goto
- Date of establishment
- October 3, 2016
THE APARTMENT 612, 2-35, Ohorikoen, Chuo-ku Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka, 810-0051, Japan