Suspension of Interpreter Dispatch (COVID-19)

Following the request from the Hokkaido Government to reduce the number of outings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we would like to inform you that our in-person interpreting service for hospital and medical health facility visits will be changed to over-the-phone interpretation as much as possible starting on May 1, and will continue for the foreseeable future. In cases where in-person interpretation is absolutely necessary, arrangements can be made. Please consult with us. (Service hours: 9:00 -17:00)

We reached this decision after thoroughly considering the following:

  • Sapporo is seeing an increase in the number of cases of a new COVID-19 variant, which is showing signs that it is a more contagious strain that causes a more severe illness even among younger people.
  • Due to the delayed arrival of vaccines, we are uncertain when we can be vaccinated. As such, it is necessary to reduce the chances to get infected for the benefit of all.

If you are planning to go for your medical appointment(s) without an in-person interpreter,  and you need interpretation at the medical session, we can interpret over the phone. In that case, we would like you to understand the following:

  • You must request over-the-phone interpretation by email beforehand.  (Service hours: 09:00-17:00)
  • Interpretation can be done only over your personal telephone device.

(We are not sure if the hospital will let you use their phone)

  • When you request an over-the-phone interpretation, we will give you a personal telephone number. Do not give this number to anyone else. The given number is only for that one interpretation session.
  • If you requested over-the-phone interpretation, but you were able to successfully communicate with your medical staff, once your session is over, call or text your assigned over-the-phone interpreter to let them know. If you do not, the assigned interpreter will keep waiting for your call.

For further information, please contact us at:

To find out when we will resume dispatching our interpreters, please check our website at:, or find us on Facebook at:

We appreciate your kind understanding,

SEMI Sapporo