March 25, 2015
Ichinomiya-shi, Aichi Prefecure:
Eight seats exclusively saved for persons with disabilities will be available in the public of Ichinomiya-shi Assembly in central Japan. Even neither the prefecture assembly nor Nagoya-shi assembly has introduced such a system, and the move of Ichinomiya-shi is the first as an assembly of an autonomous body with more than three hundred thousand people of population in the prefecture.
A proposed amendment of a hearing regulation was approved at the city assembly regular meeting on March 24, and it will be applied from a regular meeting in June.
The city assembly secretariat explained the move: after more than twenty members of a Deaf group watched a regular meeting with interpreting in June, 2014, some of the members were concerned about the position of the interpreter who stood in front of the seat for the public, stating it might disturb other hearing persons to see the meeting from a public seat.
On the other hand, some persons from the Nagoya-shi Welfare Association for Persons with Disabilities commented, "the divided seats for the public will possibly rather lead to discrimination. It's important to share one another at the same viewpoint in fact".