Japan Striving to Prevent Foreigners from Getting Lost in Mountains

Society Culture

Nagano, Aug. 14 (Jiji Press)--With an increase in foreigners visiting Japan for mountain climbing, police in central Japan prefectures with steep mountains are stepping up efforts to help prevent foreign climbers from getting lost.

The number of foreigners getting lost in Japanese mountains is on the rise, apparently due to differences in cultures and systems.

Among Japan's 47 prefectures, Nagano had the largest number of people lost in mountains in 2018, at 330, in a total of 297 cases, according to surveys by the National Police Agency and other entities. Of them, 19 were foreigners, up by 16 from the figure in 2008, with South Koreans accounting for the largest share, at seven.

In 2013, a group of South Koreans got lost in the "Central Alps" mountain range in Nagano Prefecture, and four of them died.

In South Korea, mountain trails are managed by institutions that operate national parks. They would be closed if the managing institutions conclude that climbing is dangerous in view of weather and other conditions. Climbing mountains is therefore considered a safe leisure activity that beginners can easily enjoy.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press