Report Meeting about the Current Situation of the Disaster area

Back to earthquake information

Date: 19:00 – 22:00 Tuesday March 29, 2011
Site: Meeting Room of The Nippon Foundation

News in International Sign (10min 49sec)
News in Japanese Sign Language (8min 28sec)

Mr. Hisamatsu, the General Manager of the Disaster Relief Headquarters, gave a report about his visiting of the Deaf associations to meet Deaf people and those concerned, in the Tohoku Area (5 Prefectures) during March 23th and March 28th. Mr. Miyamoto, leader of Support for the Deaf, and Mr. Yoshihara, leader of Relief Supplies, reported about the transportation of the relief supplies to Miyagi Prefecture between March 26th and March 28th.

These reports were as follows;


Report by Mr. Hisamatsu,
the General Manager

Mr. Yoshihara, Relief Supplies

Ms. Asai, Coordinator of sign interpreting
See photographs on bottom of page


  • Nobody in the coastal areas answered faxes we had sent until now. Due to no means of transportation and lack of gasoline, we could not reach the coastal areas and it was impossible to confirm whether victims are safe or not.
  • Many old people lived in the coastal areas. After the earthquake and tsunami, it seemed that many of them evacuated to houses of their relatives.
  • We decided to survey each of the four areas from 27th March with the Miyagi Deaf Association and Information Center for the Deaf.
  • Iwate Regional Headquarters for the Deaf will be set up in the Information Center for the Deaf.
  • We visited Iwate Prefectural Government to explain about the situation of the Deaf people and to request support for them.


  • Miyagi Regional Headquarters was set up and the members are confirming safety of Deaf victims and are going around the shelters.
  • We have no depository for relief supplies, so we would like to ask to rent a facility of the JDF (Japan Disability Forum) relief center.
  • Although various relief supplies were sent to the disaster area, some different kinds of supplies were put in one box and some unnecessary things were sent. It takes more time to assort them. It is necessary to inform widely the rules of the relief efforts.
  • Sign interpreting service had been requested. We must meet the needs as soon as possible.


  • The office is functioning well and the confirmation of the safety of Deaf victims is being collected smoothly.
  • Due to the radiation leaks caused by the explosion at the nuclear power plants, residents of these areas had to evacuate to another area and moved place to place. So it is difficult to know where the Deaf evacuees are.
  • The radiation leaks are invisible, so the information is the only one we can rely on. Under the circumstance, it is very severe for Deaf people who cannot access information easily.
  • In the case that the radioactive contamination is spread over Fukushima city and Koriyama City, the office should move to the Tokyo office.

In general

  • The victims are mentally tired out after the disaster. These conditions are different depending on the person.
  • It is necessary to provide relief supplies as well as psychological care for them as soon as possible.
  • For the relief for the Deaf, some support by the administration of the prefectures, cities, towns and villages is needed.
  • It is necessary to adjust and inform widely the rules of volunteer activities and relief supplies as soon as possible.
  • The request, from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, of the treatment for Deaf people is not extended to each shelter.
  • It is necessary to distribute a notice about the treatment for the Deaf to each shelter.

After that, Ms. Asai, a coordinator of sign interpreting, gave a report about the situation of sign interpreting service. The interpreting service in Miyagi Regional Headquarters and Ishinomaki city will start from 30th March. The interpreting service has been requested from Natori city and Watari city, so it is possible that the request will increase from now on.

After these reports, each team (sign interpreter, psychological care, relief supplies, etc.) discussed about future activities and plans.

Mr. Oshima, Organization of Broadcasting for People with Disabilities

Mr. Kawahara, Information & Public relations

Mr. Miyamoto, Support for the Deaf

Mr. Hisamatsu, General Manager

Japan Association of the Deaf Teachers

Mr. Ishii, The Nippon Foundation

National Deaf Helpers’ Association


Team Meeting: Psychological care team

Back to earthquake information