to original Japanese version
The Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JFD) and the Japanese Deaf Sports Federation(JDSF) held the first meeting of the Deaflympics 2025 Bid Preparation Division on Monday, January 18, 2021. All the Advisors and Members of Division met in person or online in the middle of a state of emergency due to COVID-19.
At the meeting, the progression status of the campaign activities to have the Deaflympic Games hosted by Japan was shared with the participants and the determination to work closely together with each other for the successful bid was confirmed.
The meeting was significant in that it showed a proactive attitude of Japanese sporting community, which attempts to establish an inclusive society through sports, in supporting for successful bid of the Deaflympic Games that aims to create societies where everyone can access information, with collaborative efforts of both disabled and able-bodied people.
Time/Date: 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 18, 2021
Venue: Vision Center Nagatacho, Tokyo (In person or online participation)
♦ Parliamentary Association for the Promotion of the Deaflympics in Japan (PAPD)
Chairperson Mr. Seiichi Eto, Member of the House of Councilors (In person)
General Secretary Mr. Hiroshi Hase, Member of the House of Representatives (In person)
Deputy General Secretary Ms. Eriko Imai, Member of the House of Councilors (In person)
Ms. Akemi Masuda, President of Japan Para Athletics (Online)
Mr. Atsuhiro Katsura, Deputy Chairman of Japan Sports Law Association and Attorney at Law (Online)
Mr. Shinji Hirai, President of Governors’ Assembly to Promotion of Sign Language and Governor of Tottori Prefecture (Online)
Mr. Mitsuhiro Hoshino, President of Japan Association of Mayors on Sign Language and Mayor of Fujimi City (Online)
Mr. Yasushi Ishihara, President of Tsukuba University of Technology (Online)
Mr. Motomichi Kamohara, Former Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) (In person)
Mr. Masaki Yamauchi, President of Yamato Welfare Foundation (Online)
Mr. Yasuhiro Yamashita, President of Japanese Olympic Committee (Online)
Mr. Mitsunori Torihara, Chairman of Japanese Paralympic Committee (Online)
♦ Division Members
Mr. Mitsuji Hisamatsu, General Manager of Division and General Secretary of Japanese Federation of the Deaf (In person)
Mr. Naoki Kurano, Deputy Manager of Division and General Manager of Head Office of Japanese Federation of the Deaf (In person)
Mr. Koji Otake, Vice President of Japanese Federation of the Deaf (Online)
Mr. Takeo Ogura, President of Japan Deaf Sports Federation (Online)
Mr. Yasunori Shimamoto, General Secretary of Japan Deaf Sports Federation (Online)
Mr. Yutaka Osugi, Professor of Tsukuba University of Technology (In person)
Mr. Tatsuhito Awano, Chairman of Tokyo Federation of the Deaf (In person)
Mr. Daisuke Ochi, Executive Director of Tokyo Federation of the Deaf (In person)
- Welcome from host (Ishino Fujisaburo, President of Japanese Federation of the Deaf)
- Message from guest of honor
- Ms. Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo
- Greetings and introduction of Advisors and Members of the Division
- Introduction of deaf sports associations, Deaflympians and Paralympians
- Mr. Masateru Yugami, Silver medalist at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics (Online)
- Mr. Yuji Takada, Eighth-place winner at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics (Online)
- Mr. Ryutaro Ibara, Silver medalist at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics (Online)
- Ms. Kumi Hayase, Bronze medalist at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics (Online)
- Ms. Chiaki Takada, Eighth-place winner at the 15th Summer Paralympics(Video message)
- Activities progress report
- Future activity plans
- Q & A session
The live broadcast of the meeting on YouTube Live began with a 3-minute delay due to a sound issue. Closed-caption and picture of a sign language interpreter were arranged on the screen, to provide the conditions in which all participants, including the deaf and hearing people, or who understand sign language and who doesn’t, can access the information.
The Deaflympics campaign movie was introduced at the opening of the meeting.
Mr. Ishino Fujisaburo, the host of the meeting and President of Japanese Federation of the Deaf, made a welcome speech.” The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games can increase the value of sports for disabled persons and promote the public understanding of disabled persons in Japan. We are determined to further develop the movement and the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 in the 2025 Deaflympics, and linking it to achieving an inclusive society.”
Greetings from Advisors
First, Ms. Masuda said in her speech, “At Para Athletics Games, youth actively engage as volunteers and support one another on the field naturally and spontaneously. To my mind, this is a good example of activities that would create an inclusive society. I will focus on increasing social awareness of the Deaflympic Games.”
Then Mr. Katsura said, “Hosting the Deaflympics in Japan following the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games should be very significant. I look forward to actively participating in the process to form a public consensus on what the Deaflympics in Japan should be aiming for.”
Mr. Hirai, using sign language, said “As public sectors that promote sign language, we will make every effort to ensure that the Deaflympics are hosted by Japan.”
Mr. Hoshino said, “The number of local governments which are members of Japan Association of Mayors on Sign Language is now over 600, whereas it was only about 250 at the beginning. Turning this achievement into power, we will support the campaign to host the Deaflympics while making continuous efforts to realize sign language ordinances in more regions and also to make it into the legislation.”
Mr. Ishihara said, “As the only university specializing in the education of students with visual and/or auditory disabilities in the country, we hope to engage in training and support for deaf athletes.”
Mr. Kamohara said, “I worked on MHLW projects to support disabled persons for approximately 4 years. Based on this experience, I hope that opportunities for athletes with hearing disabilities to compete will be enhanced, as well as opportunities for the deaf and hearing people to participate in sports together in order to improve mutual understanding.”
Mr. Yamauchi said, “There is something in common between the satisfaction people with disabilities would get from working for a company and the feeling they could get from enjoying sports. In the business community, we look forward to making a contribution to the campaign.”
Mr. Yamashita said, “Our ultimate goal is to achieve a society that embodies the philosophy of “Sports for All.” We are very keen to cooperate for the development of sports for disabled persons and the creation of an inclusive society, in collaborating with various sports associations, using our know-how and experiences,” and encouraged the participants to work together.
Mr. Torihara said, “One of the key concepts of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games is “Diversity and Inclusion.” Public awareness is rising, and the national government has implemented the Universal Design 2020 Action Plan. It would be quite significant if the Deaflympics were a part of this movement.”
Greetings from parliament members
Rushing to the venue directly after the plenary session of the House of Councilors, Mr. Seiichi Eto, a member of the House of Councilors, said, “To build on the legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the 2025 Deaflympics, we, the members of the Caucus for Promoting Disability Sports and the Paralympics, have formed the Parliamentary Association for the Promotion of the Deaflympics in Japan within the caucus. My colleagues and I will continue our efforts to bring the Games to Japan.”
Mr. Hase, a member of the House of Representatives, also pointed out that “the PAPD would give the maximum in the 2025 Deaflympics hosting campaign.”
Ms. Imai, a member of the House of Councilors, said, “Among the gloomy atmosphere caused by Covid-19 pandemic, we hope to offer positive news to the society. We will focus on activities that will make the Deaflympic Games a lot more popular.”
A message from Ms. Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo: Sports are not only essential for us to keep and promote our mental and physical wellness, but also to inspire us to dream and provide courage. The Government of Tokyo will work to achieve an inclusive society where everyone can lead an enriched life through sport, while promoting sport for people with disabilities, including deaf sports.
Introduction of Deaflympians and Paralympians
Mr. Masateru Yugami, a Deaflympian, said in his speech, “When Tokyo was chosen to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I was so thrilled to have the Games here in Japan. I think that the Deaflympics have not been very popular so far, partly because hearing disabilities are invisible just by looking. I hope that the Deaflympics will take place in Japan and lead to the development of social awareness about disabilities.”
Ms. Chiaki Takada, a blind Paralympian, said, “In anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, social understanding and interest in people with disabilities are gradually growing. I am prepared to take action on the Deaflympics, if there is anything I can do, so that more people know and understand about the event and persons with disabilities.”
Mr. Yuji Takada, a Deaflympian, said, “In the 7 years after Tokyo was determined to host 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I think people have become more and more aware of persons with disabilities and grow interest in sports for disabled persons. I think the Deaflympic Games in Japan could boost awareness and understanding.”
Mr. Ryutaro Ibara, a Deaflympian, said, “Since the Deaflympics are not yet well known to people yet, the environment for athletes with hearing disabilities has not really been improved, including the number of sponsors. I think there is a need to work on public relations activities and send messages about the Deaflympic bid campaign to society, as well as strengthening athletic competitiveness.”
Ms. Kumi Hayase, a Deaflympian, said, “To host the Deaflympics could be a huge movement, not merely in the sport scene, but in general around Japan, where sign language has been gradually been recognized among a broad range of people.
Mr. Kurano, Deputy Manager of the Division, explained about the Deaflympics and reported on the status of bidding activities for the 2025 Games.
During the Q & A session, there was an active exchange of views and suggestions.
Ms. Masuda expressing her gratitude in sign language at the end of her question.
Mr. Ochi describing volunteer training programs implemented by the Government of Tokyo.
Closing remarks by Mr. Awano.
The Advisors, Members and Deaflympians who participated online expressed their approval with applause in sign language.
Participants gathering at the venue.
Information-communication guarantee system provided for the meeting.
The meeting went through rigorous anti-Covid-19 measures, including social distancing and separation screens to prevent droplet infection placed between the participants.
The support of a professional staff team is indispensable to ensure the guarantee of information-communication guarantee at an online meeting.
The staff of Astem Co., Ltd took part in the setting up the information-communication guarantee system.
Captioners providing real-time captions.