Interpreter supports the Deaf survivors in the area devastated by the earthquake


To support the Deaf community in the area devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami, NAKAMURA Nakamura (58) was in Tagajo City, Miyagi Prefecture for one week from April 5. She is a part-time staff of the Hokkaido Prefecture Health Welfare Section.

She interpreted for the clients with disabilities at the Tagajo City office by the request of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Nakamura met six Deaf persons. A woman in her fifties who lost her husband visited the office to change of the name of the insurance card. Two family members came to consult about the restoration of home which was flooded, etc.

Nakamura was surprised at extensive of damage in the area, saying "The scale was different this time" though she had worked as an interpreter in the stricken area when the Mt.Usu erupted in 2000.

She met a Deaf married couple when she stopped at the shelter before leaving for Hokkaido. They said in sign language, "Thank you for coming from Hokkaido far away from here." She was touched by the warmth of the people in Tohoku region: They showed appreciation for the people who visited though they were the disaster victims.

Nakamura says, "I want to go to other regions for support if I am needed. When the day for revival comes some time, I want to meet the people in Tagajo City again."

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