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Japan to issue American phrase book

Published Oct. 9, 2005

Hoping to prevent another tragic misunderstanding, officials plan to introduce U.S.-bound travelers to American slang.

"Back off," "cut that out," "get lost" and "hands in the air" are among about 30 expressions to be included in the pamphlet due out next month.

The project was in response to the October shooting death of teenage exchange student Yoshihiro Hattori in Baton Rouge, La.

Hattori, who went to the wrong door while looking for a Halloween party, apparently didn't understand the command "freeze." Rodney Peairs was acquitted last month of manslaughter charges in Hattori's death.

Since the verdict was handed down the government here has been castigated in editorials for allowing nearly 12-million Japanese _ about 10 percent of the country _ to head overseas each year with little training about what can happen when they leave the virtually crime-free cocoon of Japan.

About 200,000 copies of the pamphlet are to be distributed through travel agents and targeted at short-term student travelers.

The AFS Association, the group that sent Hattori on his exchange program, also is drafting a revision to its safety guide to include more slang words.