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Northern Okinawa businesses create own Daiko service deal

Date Posted: 2008-01-04

Drinking drivers in five northern Okinawa communities no longer have to risk getting behind the wheel of their cars after a night out; a new Unten Daiko service has been implemented to get them safely home.

The Unten Daiko program covering Nago City, Motobu Town, Kin Town, Ginoza Village and Kunigami Village is different than daiko service offered in central and southern Okinawa. Businesses in the area have formed the cooperative ‘motor pool system’ to have a supply of Unten Daiko drivers available for their customers. The service was inaugurated December 20th.

Sixteen companies have signed up to participate in the Unten Daiko service, making 48 vehicles available to aid drinking drivers get safely home. The system is simple: drivers or the business call a central phone number, where drivers are waiting by the Nago City Civil Hall parking area. Vehicles are dispatched within seven minutes to the bar, snack or restaurant where the driver is waiting. The sober Unten Daiko driver gets behind the wheel of the drinking person’s car and drives it home for them.

Tadashi Toguchi, chairman of the northern Unten Daiko Association, says “now it’s party time, end of year parties or New Year’s parties coming, and there are lots of chances for drinking.” He says the new service will aid taxicab drivers in providing adequate service, but says the most important thing is to “make drunk drivers disappear. If you drink, don’t drive. Instead, call us at 098-829-0075.

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