Ishikari-shi, Hokkaido in Japan's northern island launched the investigative commission with Deaf organization representatives and experts on May 16, aiming at establishment of the "sign language basic ordinance (tentative name)" which defines the philosophy for building the environment where a Deaf person lives easily, etc.
The commission makes a draft ordinance, etc. by the end of June, and the city mayor will submit an ordinance proposal to the regular municipal assembly scheduled for September.
If approved, it will be the first ordinance in the whole country about sign language.
An ordinance regards sign language as "language" and aims at the production of society that Deaf persons and citizens communicate in sign language. The production of environment for a Deaf person's social participation is also set on a pillar.
The city is holding the sign language class since about 20 years ago, and stations the certified sign language interpreter part-time in the city office since 1996.
According to the city, about 300 Deaf persons live in the city, out of whom about 50 are estimated to use sign language.
Ishikari City official website (Japanese):