By Barrier Free Japan
March 26 2021
TOKYO – The Asahi Shimbun reported on March 26 that Tamayo Marukawa, Minister of the Olympic Games, explained the absence of a sign language interpreter at the departure ceremony for the Tokyo Olympic torch relay held the day before in Fukushima Prefecture, saying, “It cannot be avoided that there was a lack of consideration.”
The departure ceremony for the Olympic torch was held at J Village, a sports facility in Fukushima Prefecture at Naraha Machi and Hirono Mach, without spectators in order to protect against the new coronavirus. The ceremony was broadcast live online.
Minister Marukawa pointed out that “diversity and harmony are one of the basic concepts of the Tokyo Games,” and said, “I am very disappointed to hear that the Organizing Committee did not make any special efforts to provide sign language interpreters for the ceremony.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was asked about the absence of sign language interpreters by opposition lawmakers at the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors on March 25, and he said, “I would like to receive a report on how this happened, and I would like to make sure that the government addresses any issues that need to be corrected.