Deaf organizations request for captioning broadcast of constituency political view

June 28, 2013

An Upper House election is scheduled for mid-July, this year.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications revised the enforcement provision of broadcast of political views about Upper House election proportional representation on June 10.

It means when there is the proposal from a political party, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan Broadcasting Association: NHK) will caption broadcast of political views of proportional representation by its candidate.

So, what a political party appeals will be "read for" those who do not understand sign language.

According to the Ministry and NHK, since a local station has a limitation in staffs or equipment, it is impossible to caption broadcast of a constituency.

Although sign-language interpreting is not accepted in the constituency of the Upper House election, either, the gubernatorial election in all prefectures is possible for interpreting since 2011.

According to the Ministry, the number of the certified sign language interpreter for broadcast of political views is uneven across the country, and even rural areas have fewer.

As the Upper House election takes place all at once in the whole country, it is reportedly because there is a possibility that the certified interpreters may be less to meet the information needs of the Deaf community.

According to the Japanese Federation of the Deaf and other deaf organizations, there are about 50,000 people with hearing loss and understand sign language.

If the elder with hearing loss also are included, it will be expected the number goes up to millions.

Six organizations including Japanese Federation of the Deaf asked for the improvement of the situation, sending the open letter to each political party.

Japanese source:

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