July 1, 2014
Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan made the policy to enact the "sign
language ordinance" which aims at realization of the community in which a
Deaf person lives at ease.
The ordinance examination committee consisted of experts, Deaf persons, and sign language interpreters was launched on May 28.
view of the ordinance already enacted in some places across Japan, it
is clearly defined that "sign language is language," and that the duty
and the role of a self-governing body and residents about the spread of
It may mean that it is almost certain to include
contents aiming at "realizing the community where Deaf persons and
persons who are not Deaf can live together."
First, about a
phrase "sign language is language," it puts on the first revised
Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law to accept the language nature of sign
language, and, probably, is defined also for each ordinance.
a share and acquisition of a communication tool are fundamentally meant
about "symbiosis of a Deaf person and the person who are not Deaf." If
a Deaf person has been forced to learn by the oral method, this means
that the "Deaf person" is forced to use the communication tool of
However, the ordinances by self-government
bodies and the revised Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law do not take
such an attitude, but ask for the Government and the self-government
body to take the measure towards enhancement of the environment which
sign language can be used easily and the spread of sign language.
a viewpoint of the local residents, it means making an effort that
"non-Deaf persons" compromise to "Deaf persons" to communicate with each
"The respect for an individual" defined in the "Article
13 of Constitution means accepting people as they are. It puts in
another way; it is preparing various choices in society with cost.
Especially a physical disability certainly appears at a fixed rate, and
it can be said that the cost for equalizing is a suitable burden on
Probably, the sign language ordinance that asks
"non-Deaf persons" for only a few burden and consideration should be
evaluated as it follows the idea of the constitution fundamentally in