April 3, 2015
The Japanese Federation of the Deaf based in Tokyo reportedly stated that by April 3 all the prefecture and city government assemblies across Japan have approved the opinion document which admits sign language as a language and asks the establishment of a "Japanese Sign Language Law" in order to enhance the environment for the use of the sign language.
The main contents of the sign language bill prepared by the Federation includes the obligation of the government and each local self-governing body to put a policy about language activity of sign language and cultural promotion into effect and plan for promotion of all policies about sign language. More chance to learn sign language at special support schools, introduce interpreting in a TV program, etc. are expected by establishment of a Sign Language Law.
The Federation was strengthening an approach through its member groups throughout the country, and more than 1,700 local government assemblies approved an opinion document or adopted petition as a whole.
However, against the local movement, there are no positive movements for legal establishment by the government or the Diet.