Tokyo Govt Staff Study Sign Language Ahead of 2025 Deaflympics

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tokyo metropolitan government employees take part in a sign language workshop on Monday.

The Tokyo metropolitan government held a sign language workshop on Monday for its employees who will support the 25th Summer Deaflympics that will take place in the capital in 2025.

The Deaflympics is an international sports event for people with hearing difficulties.

The metropolitan government will hold five workshops for more than 100 employees through Friday.

About 25 people participated in Monday’s workshop and learned greetings, names of sports disciplines and other words in sign language. They were also taught how to show someone the way to event venues.

“Sign language is a visual language,” said Yasuko Hori of the Tokyo Federation of Deaf, who was the instructor. “Hand movements are important, and so are facial expressions.”

Ayaka Sasaki, who works at the metropolitan government’s citizen, culture and sports bureau, is in charge of table tennis at the Deaflympics and has been in contact with sports associations.

“I think it’s important not only to learn sign language, but also understand the culture of deaf people,” Sasaki said. “I’d like to try to make myself understood correctly [in sign language] as part of the preparations for the event.”