Tokyo, Japan has been selected for the host city for the 2020 Olympics games. The country has been hard at work preparing themselves for the international spot light. A plethora of changes has already been implemented which includes lifting restrictions on tattooed bathers at public bath houses, revision of map icons and adding English text to street signs. But the current one that has been gaining the most spot light is the "A Foreigner is Driving" car stickers that has been gaining momentum among the car rental companies in the country. These stickers are supposed to inform the local drivers that the driver in the car with the sticker may not be familiar with some local traffic regulations nor the geography itself. Or more importantly, may be used to driving on the different side of the road. The concept is similar to some places where they require new and learning drivers to display a certain sign on their vehicle to let other drivers know they may still lack some local road knowledge and should be given some extra distance to prevent accidents.
The stickers has already been widely used in Okinawa and Hokkaido. And with the Olympics nearing, these stickers are gathering more attention in anticipation of the tourist influx. However, these stickers could be a double edged sword. While they could inform the public of who they are on the road with, these stickers could also mark out the foreigners for criminals to target and take advantage of. Okinawa Rental Car Association has commented that while serious accidents did not increase due to foreign drivers, there has been a rise in minor bumps and scrapes. A rise of 300 percent in minor accidents from 2014 to 2016. And while the 300 percent increase may seem like a lot, the overall population of foreign drivers in Japan has actually risen 400 percent between 2011 and 2015. The spike in accidents may not entirely be due to poor driving of foreign drivers but because there are just that many more drivers on the road. These car stickers have been gaining traction and may see action throughout the country. Fortunately, these stickers are closer to "sticker magnets" which can be easily removed when needed.