Prefecture assembly member warned for using sign language at the floor

March 10, 2015

Hyogo Prefecture:

During the Hyogo Prefecture Assembly plenary session on February 26, Maruo Maki, 50, a member of the prefecture assembly, made self-introduction in sign language at the beginning of the question related to interpreting arrangement to a prefecture hospital. 

In response to the remark about Maruo's irrespective questioning "that's a redundant act" from certain committee members at the assembly guiding committee on March 2, an assembly secretariat warned Maruo.

The prefecture assembly doesn't set up a clear regulation to sign language use at the floor according to the assembly secretariat. It is refrained from expressing gratitude to a person in hearing or waving the hand according to an agreement of each assembly group.

The secretariat, which had arranged interpreters by request of Maruo in order to meet the needs of Deaf persons for a seat for the public on the day, explains, "Anyway it wasn't necessary to make a self-introduction by sign language. We don't mean to deny sign language, but we want everyone to follow rules."

Maruo states, "I thought online video on a general question was delivered to the Internet, which I believed this would make viewers feel sign language close."

In the prefecture assembly plenary session held in October, 2014, Maruo introduced himself by sign language and took a warning from the assembly secretariat.

Hyogo prefecture assembly has adopted the opinion document which asks Government for establishment of "Sign Language Regulation" in October, last year.

While the spreads of sign language being developed, the Hyogo Prefecture Association of the Deaf says, "Sign language is linguistic one. It can also be said discrimination to a Deaf person, and we cannot overlook the Maruo case." They will ask the prefecture assembly for the explanation soon.

Japanese source:

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