Posted October 07, 2018 05:25:38 A Japanese translator for a sign language and Creole interpreter died in a car crash on Saturday, authorities said.
Police said the 32-year-old man from Gifu prefecture died of injuries sustained when he hit a stationary vehicle while driving on the Takarazuka Highway near Tohoku, near the town of Togetsu, in the city of Fukuoka.
Police initially said the man, who lived in the same town as the interpreter, was in his 50s, but later clarified he was in the 40s.
Police have not released his name, but a police spokesman said he was identified by his surname, Oji.
Oji worked as a translator for the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) and later for the Creole language broadcast service, ABC News Japan said.
A video posted online showed Oji, wearing a mask and a head scarf, driving in a red Toyota Land Cruiser, which was parked near a sign that read “Sign Language”, with a Japanese license plate on it.
Oddly, Omi had also previously worked as an interpreter for a Japanese television channel, as part of a program that aired in Tokyo, according to the website of the broadcaster.
Police did not give a cause of the crash, but the JBC website said it was “not known if the driver was distracted by the traffic lights or whether the car was traveling slowly”.
In a tweet on Saturday evening, a JBC spokesperson said the network was “deeply saddened” by the crash.
“The safety of our viewers and staff is of paramount importance,” the JSC said.
Omi was not wearing a face mask, but had a white head scarf.
Police had asked for the public’s help to find the driver of the car.
“We have taken the case under the auspices of the Traffic Safety Bureau, who have launched a probe,” the police said in a statement.
“If you have any information, please contact police.”
A witness said the driver lost control of his car, which veered off the road and hit a sign on the side of the road, killing the interpreter and seriously injuring another driver.
Omiyama Yoshimasa, whose son, Toshiya, was travelling in the vehicle, told the Nikkei Asian Review newspaper the interpreter had been a friend and mentor.
“My son is a translator,” he said.
“He had the good luck to be working with us and we have always been grateful to him.”