Tottori Prefecture in western Japan which enacted the first sign language ordinance in Japan last year tackles to improve a sign language interpreter's treatment from the new fiscal year starting in April.
The time unit price at the time of the prefecture dispatching an interpreter to a lecture meeting, etc. is pulled up from 2000 conventional yen to 3000 yen of a national top level.
Based on the Comprehensive Support Law for the Persons with Disabilities revised last year, the self-governing body is carrying out interpreter dispatch to a lecture meeting or a private business of a Deaf client.
The Prefecture pays 2000 yen to an interpreter which is lower than the national average (2200-2300 yen). A scene to be acted as interpreter increases with social participation of the Deaf, and after the sign language ordinance establishment, more requests for interpreting services come from the Deaf community.
Moreover, the current payment system is based on interpreter's actual working hours, and the times for travel and preparations are not reflected in the payment.
Therefore, the aspect supported by the volunteerism by a sign language interpreter is strong, and so the problem that "living by the job as an interpreter is difficult, and being an interpreter is not materialized easily as an occupation," according to prefecture officials.
The Prefecture has only 35 interpreters, and will promote their training, too.