Deaf group demanding for interpreting political candidates' campaign speech on TV

The national election for the House of Councilors will take place on July 11 across Japan, and the TV has started to air the program on the political candidates in the House of Councilors election electoral district.

The Fukui Prefecture Society of Welfare of the Deaf demanded that the government should allow the interpreting the campaign speech on TV. Their proposal was heard by the prefecture election committee on behalf of the government on June 16. And then they visited the office of each candidate, too, asking for cooperation in the system to be improved.

The Public Office Election Law allows the interpreting the campaign speech by the candidate for the small electoral district and the proportional representation both of House of Representatives election, and the proportional representation of House of Councilors election. However, only the House of Councilors election electoral district is not allowed to be interpreted.

Even at the election that permits the interpreting, it is only available if the candidate needs it.
Moreover, the interpreting cost is on the candidate's personal expense to be paid in the House of Representatives election small electoral district. The Society is demanding the government to pay the cost, too.

In addition, the interpreter who is kind of a civil servant will be considered as the person engaged in the election campaign according to the Public Office Election Law, which prevents the interpreters from working.

The Society said, "As there are actually not many interpreters, they should be treated as a neutral interpreter in the election campaign. What we demand is indispensable because it is to protect our right to vote."

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