A city near Tokyo will require owners of new single-room apartment complexes to post basic garbage sorting and disposal rules in seven languages from April in a bid to help its increasingly multinational inhabitants avoid making mistakes that can cause conflict with their neighbors.

The city of Kawaguchi in Saitama Prefecture, which government data showed had the largest foreign population of any Japanese city as of June, currently requires rules to be made available in Japanese, English and Chinese but has decided to add Vietnamese, Tagalog, Turkish and Korean by revising an ordinance.

Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2024, shows garbage disposal rules on a multilingual signboard in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture. (Kyodo)

The city was home to 43,128 foreigners as of Jan. 1, comprising roughly 7 percent of its total population, according to the city government. The number rose from 39,553 last year and 38,090 in 2022.

Japan's garbage and recycling sorting rules are considered by many to be complex and confusing, particularly to those who have a limited grasp of the language or are recent arrivals.

Unlike in some countries, refuse of different types is collected on specific days of the week and many areas require it to be washed, sorted and prepared to certain standards that are well understood by the local population.

The local government decided it needs to improve outreach to foreign residents after receiving complaints that garbage has gone unsorted or has been disposed of improperly in areas where many small apartments are clustered, according to officials.

The city is also asking owners of existing apartments to help spread awareness of the rules, they said.