Japanese Deaf people enjoying policy briefing by candidates for mayoral election in Nishinomiya City

The election of the mayor and the municipal assemblymen will be held on November 16, 2008 in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture in the neighborhood of Osaka.

Prior to the election, the Deaf Section of the Municipal Association of the Deaf and Speech Impaired held a meeting for policy briefing with interpreting at the central public hall on November 11, 2008. The candidates who run for the post of the mayor were invited to speak on their own policy.

Masuhiro Ikeyama (69), chair of the Deaf Section, said, "It is ideal for the municipal officials and candidates to do the lecture meeting with interpreting. Meanwhile we will provide such an opportunity for the Deaf before voting in the future."

In the past for the national election , the Association had set up the meeting to show the video of candidates' speech which was interpreted.

However, for the local election, there were few candidates who made the video. Many people who are Deaf and hard of hearing have complained; "I did not understand what these candidates spoke to the public on the street," "I wanted to know more what they stood for."

Thus, the members of the Deaf Section visited each candidate's office directly and explained the purpose of the speech meeting. On the day each of the candidates spoke for ten minutes while the participants were taking notes ardently.

A Deaf company employee (56) who participated said, "I was able to understand what idea each candidate has for our city and to see their personality, too, which would not be possible on the street where they appeal for the vote.

Source: Sankei Shimbun, Nov. 12, 2008
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