Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Operations started with unified efforts

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A moment of silence

President Ishino’s address

Meeting discussions

On March 18th, 2011, Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JFD) held the first meeting of “Headquarters for Disaster Relief for Deaf People in the Great East Japan Earthquake” in Tokyo to establish a relief system for Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind persons who were affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami. The Headquarters consists of the National Research Association for Sign Language Interpretation (Zen-Tsu-Ken) and Japanese Association of Sign Language Interpreters (JASLI) as well as JFD.

The meeting was attended by 38 participants including members of our 12 partner associations and observers from Cabinet Office, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

At the beginning of the meeting, the participants offered a one-minute silent prayer to mourn the victims of the Earthquake.

“The disaster was much larger in scale and affected wider areas compared to the Great Hanshin Earthquake. The area from which residents need to evacuate due to the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is expanding. Hearing people, let alone deaf people, are suffering from lack of information. A new system to support Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind victims needs to be established”, said the Chief of Headquarters, Mr. Fujisaburo Ishino (President of JFD), in his address.

In the light of administrative report and reports of staff members, following points were agreed at the meeting regarding he structure and activities of the Headquarters;

  1. The Headquarters are called “Headquarters for Disaster Relief for Deaf People in the Great East Japan Earthquake”
  2. Mr. Fujisaburo Ishino, President of JFD, serves as the Chief of the Headquarters.
  3. The Headquarters request donations widely to support Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind children/persons as well as sign language interpreters and notetakers who were affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami. (See the TOP page)
  4. The intended area of our relief activities includes Iwate prefecture, Miyagi prefecture and Fukushima prefecture. Kanto District Deaf Association supports the victims of Ibaraki prefecture.
  5. A team will be sent to the affected area to consider a concrete support system and to find bases for relief activities.
  6. The Headquarters collect information related to Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind victims in the affected areas and distribute it through the website.
  7. The Headquarters request the government to install a receiver of CS Organization of Broadcasting for People with Disability in each evacuation area so that Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind evacuees can watch “ME DE KIKU TV” with sign language and subtitles.
  8. For the sake of emotional care for the victims and supporters, the Headquarters will make a list of specialists of emotional care for the Deaf, hard of hearing, and Deafblind, and plan to dispatch them to the affected area.

[Members List]

Chief: Mr. Ishino
Sub-Chief: Mr. Ishikawa, Ms. Ogura, Mr. Konaka
General Manager: Mr. Hisamastu
Manager: Mr. Ito, Mr. Koide, Ms. Shinnaka, Mr. Nakamura
Treasurer: Mr. Hasegawa
Donation: Mr. Ogura, (Sub) Mr. Hashimoto
Relief Supplies: Mr. Yoshihara
Support Deaf: Mr. Miyamoto
Coordinator of Sign Interpreting: Ms. Asai
Information & Public relations: Mr. Kawahara
Psychological care: Mr. Inagawa, (Sub) Mr. Koumi, (Sub) Mr. Tanaka, (Sub) Mr. Yano

[Partner Associations]

1) National Federation of Hearing impairments Facilities Conference
2) Japan Organization of CS Broadcasting for People with Disabilities
3) Japan association of the Deaf Teachers
4) Japanese Association of Social Workers for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
5) National Center of Sign Language Education
6) All Japan Association of Hard of Hearing People
7) Japanese Deaf-Helper Association
8) The Network of medical personnel with an interest in deaf-healthcare
9) The Nippon Foundation
10) The Japan Deafblind Association
11) Council for National Deaf multiple disabilities facility
12) Japanese Council of Homes for the Aged Deaf

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