Princess Kiko attends National Sign Language Speech Contest for hearing students in Tokyo

Princess Kiko makes a speech at the opening ceremony.

August 25, 2012

The 29th annual National Sign Language Speech Contest for hearing high school students, cosponsored by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, the Asahi Shimbun Welfare Culture Corporation, the Asahi Shimbun Publishing, etc, was held in Tokyo on August 25.

Ikeda Natsuko-san, a hearing student from Kagawa Prefecture, was chosen to be the first-prized winner. She said on the theme of "Living Together", "I would like to become a sign language interpreter who connects a Deaf person and a hearing person like a bridge."

At the opening ceremony, Princess Kiko, the wife of Prince Akishino, spoke at the same time signing (photo). She said about difficulties of the Deaf persons who encountered disasters, such as the Great East Japan Earthquake, "I wish by understanding sign language more, the society where everybody can live in comfort can be built."

Kiko visited the exhibition of the support service to the Deaf community in the Great East Japan Earthquake, and listened to the lecture of Hasegawa Akiko-san, who is a Deaf development member at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

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