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Daigo Ishibashi, 40, got a lump in his throat when the Tottori Prefectural Assembly passed a groundbreaking sign language promotion ordinance in early October, the first of its kind in Japan.

“I felt proud. It was a historic day,” Ishibashi, secretary-general of the Tottori association of organizations for deaf-mutes, said in an interview through a sign language interpreter.

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