|The health and welfare section chief, Watanabe Hiroyuki explains the reason for a proposal of an ordinance in sign language. |
March 6, 2014
The Shintoku town assembly in Hokkaido approved unanimously the "Basic Ordinance on Sign Language" proposal which aims at the spread of sign language and promotion of an understanding on March 5.
The town will enforce the ordinance on April 1 at the third example across Japan following Tottori Prefecture and Ishikari-shi.
According to town officials, the ordinance positioned sign language as "language." Promoting a required measure specified the duty of the town for aiming at realization of the community where all the townsmen live with the Deaf persons.
The vocational aid center for the Deaf to live independently was established in the town in 1953. Because two out of nine facilities for the Deaf senior all over Japan are operated in Shintoku town, it is called "the Sign Language Town."
Deaf persons by 3.7% (236 persons) of the townspeople live in the town, which will say that a rate is high compared with other self-governing bodies as of April, 2013.