Judgment upon Deaf defendant who abused the baby to death in Osaka Prefecture

February 18, 2013

The lay judge trial of a Deaf defendant Abe Hiroyuki, 23, accused of crimes such as a bodily injury resulting in death in 2010, was conducted in the Osaka District Court in Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi. He was accused for abusing the eldest son soon after the birth and making him die.

Judgment came out on February 18. The presiding judge said, "The act of the defendant who applied violence to the child in need of protect and made him die must be blamed strongly", and sentenced to penal servitude of nine years instead of the demand for penal servitude 12 years.

The judgment sentence was interpreted for Abe.

Japanese source:

Related links:
Deaf jealous father abuses his baby son to death

Trial held in Osaka for Deaf man who insists innocent in drowning his new born baby


Deaf residents enjoy cycling with a "tandem bicycle" in Miyazaki Prefecture

February 18, 2013

A two-person-riding "tandem bicycle" was accepted to run on the public road in Miyazaki Prefecture in November, 2012, which was the first time in Kyushu, Japan's southern island. 

The test-ride event of the "tandem bicycle" for residents who are visual impairment or Deaf/deaf was held in Saito-shi in the prefecture on February 17.

A total of ten men and women enjoyed the invigorating run with the guide helper as their pair who handled operation on a front seat.

One of the Deaf women who participated in the event said satisfactorily, "Since we cannot sign during cycling, communication is difficult for us, but with two persons on the bicycle, we ride easily on a slope. The scene was good and the wind was pleasant, too."

Japanese source:

Hiroshima Prefecture to support hearing-aid purchase with its budget

February 15, 2013

It was announced on February 14 that Hiroshima Prefecture will allocate 2 million yen in its budget draft to assist the family with deaf/hard of hearing children for buying expenses of the hearing-aid  in the 2013 fiscal year.

Prefecture officials believe the users or applicants in the fiscal year as about 30 persons.

The organization of deaf/hard of hearing persons had been demanding assistance, stating the importance of acquisition of a language for children with hearing loss.

Among the five prefectures and two government ordinance cities in the Chugoku district in western Japan, only Hiroshima Prefecture did not have a support system to purchase a hearing aid.

Japanese source:

Wrong questions in high school entrance examination found in Yamagata Prefecture

February 17, 2013

The high school entrance examination at three prefecture schools for children with disabilities carried out in Yamagata Prefecture on February 15.

On the next day the Yamagata prefecture board of education said that there were incorrect questions in the examination. 

Regardless of the answer sheet, special points will be given to the 12 students each, including four Deaf examinees.

Committee officials apologized, saying that not only each school but also the committee should strive not to make a mistake again by checking."

Japanese source:

Slinto Dictionary: World's first cloud-sourced dictionary for sign language

February 16, 2013

An initiative from Fujisawa-based ShuR, the SLinto project aspires to be the world’s first cloud-sourced dictionary for sign language, with the world’s first sign language keyboard.

Official site (English):

Source in English:

New center to support the Deaf community for social participation in Saga Prefecture

February 17, 2013

In order to advance a Deaf/deaf person's social participation, the information dissemination facility called the "Deafness Support Center" (tentative name) will be established in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan's southern island.

It will provide services such as consultation, dispatch of sign-language interpreting and a note taking, video productions, etc.

46,940,000 yen will be appropriated for the budget for fiscal year 2013, and opening is planned in the 2014 fiscal year.

Such a facility has been installed nationwide except only Saga Prefecture in Kyushu and Okinawa.

Source in Japanese:

Medical School ordered to pay compensation for man who lost hearing by surgical mistake

February 16, 2013

The 56-year-old male of Chiba city who was a patient of the Chiba North General Hospital in Inzai-shi, Chiba Prefecture which Nippon Medical University located in Tokyo manages, brought a lawsuit against the university.

He noted that he became hearing loss by the mistake of the operation which was conducted at the hospital in November, 2000 and claimed for the payment of about 37 million yen. 

At the Chiba District Court on February 15, the presiding judge accepted a part of the man's claim, ordering the university to pay him 1 million yen as compensation .

Source in Japanese:

Swimmers to challenge the Guinness record

February 16, 2013

The junior chamber of commerce (JC) in Matsumoto city, Nagano Prefecture plans to hold a swimming event in the city in September, 2013, aiming at breaking the Guinness record of the relay that 1,000 people swim every 50 meters for setting the best time.

According to the Guinness world records company (London), the present Guinness record is "10 hours 24 minutes 38 seconds 19" which came out in the event achieved in Okayama Prefecture in September, 2012.

JC will ask swimming clubs, etc. in the prefecture for cooperation, and call Olympic Games medalists, "Deaflympics" swimmers, etc. for participation.
On the day when the swimming event is held, Guinness's authorization members will be present.

One of JC members said, "I will be glad if we have the future Olympic Games swimmers out of the prospective participants. Moreover, I would like to make the local community activated by attaining record in the city."

Source (Japanese) :

Team from Aomori Prefecture to join the world Deaf curling championship in Switzerland

The members of "Team Deaf Aomori" are enthusiastic to join the first world championships.
(photo: http://www.toonippo.co.jp/)

February 15, 2013

The national men curling team, called "Team Deaf Aomori" in Aomori Prefecture at the top of the Japanese mainland, will participate in "the 2nd world Deaf curling championships," which will be held from February 23 in Bern, Switzerland, as Japan's national team.

The members are looking forward to their first world curling championship, aiming at the full victory: "We will communicate carefully during the match and do our best."

The International Committee of the Deaf sponsors the event, and for the men curling match, seven nations including Japan will compete.

Team Deaf Aomori has participated in the league match in Aomori-shi with hearing teams. Head coach of the Deaf team said, "Our team practice only during weekends, so it is critical to take good communications among the players."

The team was due to participate in the Winter Deaflympic Games which was due to be held in Slovakia in February, 2011.

Source (Japanese) :

Deaf professional wrestlers make a show in sign language on the ring

The staff interprets by sign language by side of the Deaf wrestler showing off  strength.
(photo: http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/)

February 15, 2013

The Deaf professional wrestling organization called the "HERO" (headquarters in Chuo-ku, Tokyo) has been holding six performances mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area after starting a new business in 2010.

An announcer by the ring side interprets the sign language of the Deaf wrestler, or the staff interprets what a hearing wrestler says on the ring for Deaf spectators.

Fundamentally, five Deaf wrestlers from the "HERO" challenge hearing counterparts for a match. About 80 percent of spectators are Deaf.

A Deaf wrestler, Yamiki aged 62 who is the main wrestler of the "HERO," joined the new professional wrestling group which was formed by one of the prominent hearing wrestler, Antonio Inoki, and started as a trainee at the age of 21.

Because Yamiki was Deaf, the group didn't believe his ability, and no longer invited him for practice when he was injured, so he left the group about one year later.

Yamiki became involved in a wrestling group for persons with disabilities, such as a referee etc. since around 2005. He wanted to be a wrestler again then, starting the "HERO" with his eldest son Sato Yoshiyuki, 34, on 20 February, 2010.

Yamaki said about his experience with his hearing opponent at the first meeting: Yamaki told him something by pointing at him, who misunderstood it for an insult.

Sato, who currently represents the "HERO," continued the part-time delivery job all the time from the time of starting a new business, raising the activity fund and busy in securing the staff fluent in sign language, etc.

It is not easy for the Deaf wrestlers to find practice time as they are employed by a company. What supports them is the zeal to give the spectators as a wrestler that once they had been impressed as a fan of the professional wrestling.

Japanese original article:

Teachers of National School for the Deaf visit Paris School in France

January, 2013

The group of teachers of the School for the Deaf, the University of Tsukuba located in Chiba Prefecture visited Paris School for the Deaf in January, 2013.

Both the schools signed the memorandum of the sister school tie-up in September, 2003.

Photos of Paris School taken by the group are on the following links:






Aomori Prefecture School for the Deaf wins top place in national music contest

Deaf students demonstrate the drum performance.
(photo: http://cgi.daily-tohoku.co.jp/)

February 14, 2013

In the Aomori Prefectural Hachinohe School for the Deaf located in north of Japan's mainland Japanese drumming has been introduced in the music class since about eight years.

Regardless of the degree and on-set-age of hearing loss, all the twenty children from elementary through junior high school practice the Japanese drum performance.

In the 24th National Music Concert Contest for the Deaf Students, sponsored by the Association of Educational Welfare for the Deaf, the Hachinohe School shone with the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology prize.

This is the highest prize which the Deaf students won after three-time challenges, and as a result of passing along two recording and video examinations.

More than 20 schools for the Deaf in the whole country participated in the contest.

On February 14, the children demonstrated the drum performance dignifiedly in front of the association president, Santo Akiko san, who visited the Hachinoe School for commendation. Big applause was given from the local residents and parents who gathered.

Japanese original article:

Video link:

Only policewoman fluent in sign language to hold traffic safety class in Ishikawa Prefecture

Omote Yoko san shows off using the sign language.
(photo: http://www.chunichi.co.jp/)

February 10, 2013

Omote Yoko san, 55, is the only  traffic warden who can teach a traffic safety class in sign language in Ishikawa Prefecture. She works in the police station in Kanazawa-shi.

When she was organizing crowds at the National Sports Meet of  Persons with Disabilities in the prefecture in 1991, she was not able to communicate properly with the Deaf visitors.

Omote san started attending sign language training sessions for the police, continuing hard practice with TV sign language programs, books, courses, etc.

In the spring of 2008, a traffic safety class in sign language was held for the first time in the Prefecture School for the Deaf. Since then Omote san opens the class before the spring excursion every year.

Omote san says, "The Deaf children 'heard' me while looking hard at me signing."

There are few opportunities for her to use sign language, but sometimes she communicates with deaf people who visit the station. She says yet, "If I have a chance, I would like to sign more in my future work."

Japanese original article:

Deaf students participate in the disaster drill with local community

 January 25, 2013

The disaster drill against a large-scale earthquake was conducted in the Hyogo Prefecture Kobe School for the Deaf located in Kobe-shi on January 24.

Although the drill is arranged every year, about 300 local residents also participated for the first time this year, and shared the drill experience prepared for the disaster.

If one understands what deafness means at some degree, it is possible for the Deaf student to help elderly people's refuge or to get involved in activity at a shelter.

The Deaf children put on the bandanna printed "I am Deaf" or "I can sign," and joined the drill.

To make the students get the power of seeing and judging the circumference, in the drill some entrances were blocked inside, without telling the high school and junior high school students, which the drill was made close to the real situation in an emergency.

After the drill the local residents and Deaf students attended the workshop in the gymnasium and discussed about the emergency supplies, etc. to prepare better.

A high school senior aged 17 said, "Since the communication itself is not easy when Deaf persons are in dark, there was opinion that they should prepare a flashlight came out. It was a good opportunity for me to think about disaster prevention."

Japanese original article:

Deaf elite skiers lead cross country skiing class in Hokkaido

Participants learn sliding technique from Tasaki san and Yamamoto san (from the right)
(photo: http://www.tokachi.co.jp/)

Feb 10, 2013

For two days from February 9 - 10, "the 2nd Deaf cross-country skiing class in Obihiro" was held in cross-country skiing trails in the forest of Obihiro, etc. in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island, sponsored the Japan Deaf Ski Association and Deaf cross-country ski team.

Yamamoto Tomomi san, 37, who was from Obihiro and currently lives in Fuji-shi, Shizuoka Prefecture, was a lecturer for the event. She participated in the 2007 Winter Deaflympics in Salt Lake City.

Tasaki Fujio san, 49, who lives in Tokyo, rushed to support the event as well. He was once on the national team for the Winter Deaflympics.

Japanese original article:

Teacher of Deaf children teaches subjects not included in her license

February 09, 2013

The Osaka City Board of Education announced on February 8 that a young teacher has taught three seniors and three juniors geography and world history, which are not included in her license, for 102 hours in total until January this year from last April at the Municipal High School for the Deaf.

She was hired in April 2012, and has a license to teach social studies for junior high school and civics at the high school.

After the curriculum coordinator in the high school prepared a lesson schedule without checking the teacher's license, which she had followed.

School officials said these Deaf students would make up for getting the missing units until March.

Japanese original article:

Activities to advise checkups for the Deaf community in Osaka

February 9, 2013

A non-profit organization, "Deaf Support Osaka," located in Osaka-shi that supports the independence of the Deaf, has started a health counseling program by health nurses.

The Deaf persons have little or no opportunity to get fully the description of the medical treatment due to the lack of sign language interpreting in the hospital.

DSO will help improve the lives and health of the Deaf people through the simple diagnosis and health counseling.

On January 23, the first event by health nurse volunteers was carried out in the "Deaf Cafe in Sign Language" in the DSO office.

This program is hold once a month; last Wednesday 10:00 am -12:00 pm.

Japanese original article:

Hearing midwife forms sign language circle in Okinawa Prefecture

February 1, 2013

Miyagi Ikuko san who has worked as a midwife for years in Miyakojima-shi, Okinawa Prefecture in Japan's southern island won the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare prize for the obstetrics medical person recognized for rendering a distinguished service
in the 2012 fiscal year.

Miyagi san became a midwife at the age of 22, taking up 3,500 or more babies in about 45 years until now.

She started sign language club activities after she met a Deaf pregnant woman. During the delivery, Miyagi san was shocked to know that she was unable to communicate with the Deaf woman in labor who shed tears in pain.

The sign language circle was formed in 1988 and its activity is continued still now.

Japanese original article:

Toyota Motor to hold 40th study meeting for Deaf children in Aichi Prefecture

January 30, 2013

Toyota Motor Corp. will hold the "40th Toyota study meeting" in Toyota Kaikan Hall located in Toyota-shi, Aichi Prefecture on February 7.

This event has been held every year since 1973 as part of Toyota's philanthropy activities. The company had invited 3,600 or more Deaf students for the purpose of having an understanding deepened about the auto industry until now.

The students from a school in Gifu and Mie Prefectures, respectively will be invited to the study program in Toyota Kaikan Hall and the factory this year.

Moreover, six Toyota employees who graduated from the schools for the Deaf will accompany the study group, explain their job in the factory, and tell how they have enjoyed working, etc.

Japanese original article:

Deaf organizations request governor to establish "sign-language ordinance" towards "sign language law"

January 29, 2013

The Japanese Federation of the Deaf has aimed at the establishment of the sign language ordinance for more social recognition of sign language.

The JFD and one of its members, the Tottori Prefecture Association of the Deaf, visited Tottori Governor Hirai Shinji on January 28, and requested that the ordinance on sign language should be enacted in the prefecture.

The Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law which was revised in 2011 states clearly that "Sign language is included in language."

In order to employ the legal revision in the Deaf's actual life efficiently, JFD has complained to the government that it is necessary to develop a sign language law.

With the legal development, it is expected that the society will be accessible for a Deaf/deaf person to live: for instance, the school for the Deaf introduces sign language in the classroom which was forbidden until recently,  sign-language interpreting will be required for extraordinary broadcast of television, etc.

Tottori Prefecture has written clearly in "the future vision of Tottori Prefecture" in 2008 that "Sign language forms one culture as language not only as a communication means." 

The prefecture also has tackled positively movement which deepens an understanding of persons with disabilities, the movement of which has spread in other prefectures.

Japanese original article:

Elderly care training course in sign language to start in the next fiscal year in Gunma Prefecture

February 05, 2013

For fiscal 2014, responding to the need for the care of the elderly Deaf, Gunma Prefecture will start a training course for home helpers who sign.

The training course aims also at more employment of the qualified Deaf persons as well as to support the elderly Deaf who are prone to isolation without signed communication.

Intended for people who can sign including Deaf persons, the training courses will be conducted with sign language interpreting.

Japanese original article:

Training for Deaf soccer players starts aiming at Sofia Deaflympics

The soccer players join practice.
(photo: http://373news.com/)

 February 10, 2013

The soccer players, both men and women, arrived in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan's southern island, and started training camp in the athletic park on February 9. They are a candidate of Japan's soccer team. Training will continue through February 11.

About 50 players are anxious to be chosen to the national team for the Deaflympics which will open in Bulgaria in July.

The men team has set a goal to win the championship, and the women aim at a medal.

Japanese original article:

Trial held in Osaka for Deaf man who insists innocent in drowning his new born baby

January 25, 2013

The first hearing of the incident carried out to the born-Deaf defendant, Abe Hiroyuki, 23, in the Osaka District Court on January 25. He has drowned his newborn baby into the bathtub to death, which he asserted innocence.

According to the indictment, the Deaf defendant strongly moved the one-month-old baby son to break a rib in November, 2010, and sank the baby into the hot water of a bathtub in December, leading to death.

Prosecutors insisted by opening statement, "In one or two seconds, it would not lead to an oxygen shortage by submersion, but the defendant had sunk the baby into the bath much longer."

On the other hand, the defense counsel retorted, "It was difficult in some way for the defendant who lacks social experience to take the right action in the unexpected situation because of being Deaf."

Japanese original article:

Menu made by Deaf child served as school lunch in Aichi Prefecture

Koyama Yuri san (second from right) enjoys part of the menu that was selected the best in the contest, with her classmates in Ichinomiya School for the Deaf.
(photo: http://www.chunichi.co.jp/)

January 26, 2013

A menu that the Deaf girl won the highest award in the cooking contest sponsored by the Aichi Prefecture Education Board served for lunch in the Ichinomiya School for the Deaf in Ichinomiya-shi in the prefecture, a part of central Japan, on January 25. All the children and students had a nutrition full of the menu abundantly using vegetables.

The menu was made by Koyama Yuri san, 11, one of the young students. The cooking contest was held in Nagoya in October, last year. There were 5,816 applications from the fifth and sixth graders. Ten students were selected, and cooked in the time limit of an hour. As a result, Koyama san was chosen the best.

The dietitian of the Ichinomiya School who cooked part of the menu approved by saying, "This has many vegetables and nutritional balance is considered well." The menu was served for lunch to 112 children and students from pre-school to high school.

Koyama san has got interested in food because she has a food allergy - she cannot eat a fresh egg.

Koyama san, who had lunch with her own menu with her classmates, said with a smile, "I was glad that they said the menu was delicious."

Japanese original article:

Princess Akishino appreciates performances in sign language

January 24, 2013

On January 23, "The Japan Deaf Theatre," located in Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo performed "the spring  kyogen* in sign language" in the National Noh Theatre located in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

*kyogen means "a comical play performed during the interlude of Noh plays."

The theatre members performed humorously three programs - "The nun who cries," "The Onigawara*," and "The Mustached Tower" - as their 30th anniversary public performance this time.

*Onigawara means "a ridge-end roofing tile with the design of a devil."

Princess Kiko, the wife of Prince Akishino who is the younger brother of the Crown Prince, appreciated the performances. She has an understanding of sign language and gives a speech in sign language often.

The JDT was formed in 1980, and performed the first signed kyogen in 1983.

Japanese original article:

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

Deaf person participates in disaster drill with a yellow mark

January 24, 2013

In order for the Deaf/deaf residents of Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo Prefecture to tell people around them that they are Deaf/deaf, they will participate in the tsunami drill with a yellow ribbon stuck to an arm in the city on January 27.

In the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, it was reported that Deaf/deaf persons who were unaware of the tsunami warning were delayed in escaping.

It is estimated that there are about 1,000 Deaf/deaf persons in the city. The Nishinomiya City Association of the Deaf and the Nishinomiya sign language circle liaison committee have launched the "disaster-measures committee" in July, 2010, and discussed about how to save the Deaf/deaf community at the time of a disaster, etc.

At least 20 Deaf/deaf persons  will put on a yellow ribbon or handkerchief for the disaster drill. Sign language interpreters also use a green ribbon as a mark.

Japanese original article:

Former teacher of Deaf children manage the "child-rearing salon" for the Deaf community

The children communicate with the staff in sign language.

January 24, 2013

The "child-rearing salon," a place to offer the opportunity to Deaf/deaf preschoolers and their parents to meet and communicate with each other,  is opened once a month in the Hiratsuka-shi welfare hall in Kanagawa Prefecture next to Tokyo.

Noma Shin san, 46, a former teacher of Deaf children who manages the salon, explains, "There are few places where the Deaf/deaf children meet other peers." He opened the salon with nine volunteers, such as teachers, friends, housewives, and students, in November, last year.

The salon also aims to develop an environment for  language acquisition in the Deaf infants. "We are trying to get interested in two languages, sign language and Japanese, here other than a home."

The woman who visited the salon with her three children from Yokohama, said, "the child-rearing salon is opened at various places, however there are few for the Deaf community. I am glad that the Deaf parents have a place where they can share experience in bringing up a child."

The child-rearing salon is held in the morning on the 3rd Saturdays in principle at the hall. The volunteers or  staff members are also looked for.

Japanese original article:

Deaf female plays table tennis at national championship in Tokyo

January 21, 2013

The deaf female player, Ueda Moe san, 23,  participated in the all Japan table tennis championship in the National Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, which ended on January 20.

She has won three medals for singles, doubles, and a groups in the World Deaf Championship in May, last year. She is one of the medalist candidates for the Deaflympics which will be held in Bulgaria in July.

At the national championships, Ueda san, an employee of Hitachi Chemical Company, Ltd., played with a hearing teammate, Nakamura Shigeko san, 23, as a pair in women's doubles, and attacked with the quite good heavy blow.

Ueda san who lipreads said, "It was the first time for me to play with a hearing teammate, and we understood each other little by little."

Although they won the first game on January 16 by 3-2, they were defeated by 1-3 in the second game on the next day.

Japanese original article:

Sign language interpreter training program to be held in Gumma Prefecture

January 22, 2013

Gumma Prefecture has called for the participation in the sign language interpreter training program in the 2013 fiscal year in order to increase sign language interpreters for the Deaf/deaf community since the number of sign language interpreters is lacking in the prefecture.

According to the prefecture disability support policy division, 99 persons are currently registered as a sign language interpreter. Most of them interpret for a Deaf/deaf person receiving a medical service.

A Deaf male participated in the lay judge trial in the Maebashi District Court as a lay judge last year. It was said to be the first in the whole country. He joined trial through the interpreter.

On the other hand, according to the organization which sponsors the program, there are many subsidiary business companies among the registered interpreters. Those who respond to an interpreting request in the daytime are restricted. Among the registered interpreters, 83 are female.

There is each course of introduction, basic training, training applied, and practice in the program: three lectures (except the introduction course) and 15~20 practical skill courses from May through November, 2013. No course charge except textbooks expenses.

Japanese original article:

Teachers of Deaf children to be punished for abuse against disobedient student in Osaka Prefecture

January 21, 2013

It turned out that two teachers did corporal punishment to a Deaf student aged 13, such as slapping him on the head and the face a total of about ten times, in the Osaka Prefecture Ikuno School for the Deaf in Ikuno-ku, Osaka-shi in December, 2012.

The student bled from a nose and his face became swollen red. The prefecture board of education plans to punish these teachers.

According to the board of education, the male teacher of his 40's and the female teacher in the 50's specializing in student instruction did corporal punishment.

The teachers called the student to the conference room as he has teased one of his classmates with bad language on the morning of December 19, last year.

They heard the situation for an hour and a half, and got angry because the student didn't follow their instruction. The female teacher slapped the head of the student twice, and then the male teacher struck and the head about 8 times and his face two times, pulled him down and kicked the waist.

Japanese original article