Deaf persons in Kawasaki-shi participates in rescue practice using emergency e-mail system
July 8, 2017

On July 7, the members, both Deaf and hearing, of a sign language club who come into action in Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture next to Tokyo practiced flood disaster rescue with officers of Takatsu Police Station and Takatsu Fire Department.

Practice took place near Futago-bashi Bridge by the assumption for which a member found the person drowning at Tama-gawa River.

The members learned how to use the emergency e-mail 110 system of the Prefecture Police. (photo)

Practical use has started with the emergency e-mail 110 system since 2003 according to Takatsu Police Station. Actual use in the prefecture was 259 cases last year, while this year 104 cases by the end of May.

The officers of the Police Station explained an aim of the practice; "There are Deaf or hard of hearing people who don't know how to report yet using the emergency e-mail system. We'd like to tell them about the emergency system already existed as well as how to use it." 

Japanese source:

List of Sexual Minority Support Groups

The group which supports a sexual minority with hearing loss has begun to start in recent years. 

They dispatch an interpreter to an event and a meeting, and an advisor/counselor to meet with the sexual minority and the family.

Support group list:

The Deaf LGBT Northeast 
(Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture)

Tokyo Deaf LGBT Bond 
(Mitaka-shi, Tokyo)


Deaf Rainbow
(Himeji-shi, Hyogo Prefecture)

Deaf man in Osaka active to promote awareness on LGBT
July 7, 2017

Kokubun Yutaka, 45, a Deaf resident in Moriguchi-shi, Osaka Prefecture, is an HIV patient and a homosexual. (photo) He has been active to enhance awareness in the Deaf community about LGBT, the various nature, too.

Kokubun, born to a Deaf family in Fukushima Prefecture, was brought up by his grandmother at her home since he was an elementary pupil. She believed oral method would help her grandson develop his speech ability. 

During his high school days, Kokubun felt a kind of love for a male leader in club activities, but it was when he was 26 years old he realized he was a homosexual himself.

Kokubun learned about the Tokyo Rainbow Festival which male homosexuals gathered in Tokyo, in which he participated. Then he felt:"That is what I am, too!" And, excitement didn't cool for him. He soon made a friend and a lover who were Deaf.

At 30 years old, Kokubun learned that he was infected by HIV as the result of a check in a health center. He once thought of killing himself at a moment, but continued to received the treatment.  Two years later, he met the man aged 46. They have lived together.

Kokubun moved to Osaka taking the opportunity that the man was relocated in 2015. While holding a sign language class, Kokubun tells the Deaf that there is various nature, LGBT.

Japanese source:

Discriminatory attitudes toward Deaf in daily life, feeling of alienation without visible information

June 15, 2017

About 4,200 people, both Deaf persons and their supporters, participated in the National Deaf Conference of Japanese Federation of the Deaf which was held in Fukuoka-shi located in Japan's southern island at the beginning of June.

Cases of the discriminatory attitude toward the Deaf persons who feel anxiety and alienated in daily experienced were reported in the subcommittee meeting under a theme "Human Rights".

 "A request of the Deaf person who communicates by means of writing is ignored, and only oral communication goes on."

"An interpreter and a note taker are not provided for a classroom or a meeting of a workplace."

"A broadcast is only called by voice/sound on a bus or a train."

"The Deaf person waiting for the turn at a hospital is called only by voice announcement," etc.

The questionnaire which was conducted by JFD from September, 2014 to March, 2016 with 811 Deaf respondents. 87% of them experienced discriminatory attitudes. 

Those who asked for the "reasonable accommodations in relation to "the Persons with Disabilities Discrimination Banishment Law effective in in April, 2016 specifically went up to 62%, pointing out as follows:

(1) interpreting arrangement at school and a workplace

(2) dissemination of the accident information, etc. of the public transportation should be captioned

(3) staff service improvement in a medical agency and public facilities.

There are 3,516 interpreters certified by the government authority at present. The government had put up a target of the interpreters who work for official facilities with 4,000 people (one interpreter for 100 Deaf consumers) when the certificate test started 28 years ago. However, autonomous bodies, educational institutions and public hospitals hired 1,801 interpreters (including certified one) according to an investigation conducted in 2015 by the national interpreters group in Kyoto, less than half of the target of interpreters; 53.7%.

Japanese source:

Tokyo Governor welcomes national team for Deaflympics by sign language

July 5, 2017

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko received expression of courtesy from the Tokyo team selected for the Summer Deaflympics in Turk, (July 18-30) in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office on July 5.

Koike welcomed the team in sign language, and through interpreting she continued to say that she would like to make the environment with a diversity which persons with disabilities could play easily.

About 4,500 athletes from 109 countries and areas will participate in the upcoming Deaflympics including the Japanese team with 108 athletes (74 men and 34 women). Out of the 21 sport items, Japan will complete in 11 items; badminton, beach volleyball, bicycle, soccer, karate,  mountain bike, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

Japanese source: