by Ann Samuel on  August 15, 2007 at 1:49 PM General Health News
X-rated Show for Hearing Impaired Loses Government Funding
The Japanese government has stopped funding an X-rated television company meant for the hearing impaired.

In a version of the Canadian show "Naked News," a Japanese anchorwoman strips off clothing piece by piece while reading tabloid news in sign language.

Japan's communications ministry said last week it would halt funding for the cable show, which was part of its budget to support programming for the hearing impaired.

"We will juice up the program, maybe airing it live with some improvisations by the anchorwoman and a higher level of sign language," said Shinichiro Fukuyama, a spokesman for the show's producer, Paradise Television Inc.

"Our company's principle is to entertain our audience, regardless of whether they are disabled or not," he said. "We will continue our programming."

The government has already approved a total of 400,000 yen (3,400 dollars) for the show, called "Hadaka no Shuwa Nyusu (Naked Signing News)," but will give no further support, a communications ministry official said.

"We will give the limited aid available to higher public interests and benefits," she said.

Daisuke Ochi, director of the Tokyo Federation of Deaf, applauded the broadcaster for continuing the show despite losing government support.

"People with hearing impairment of course also have sexual desires," Ochi, who has difficulty hearing, said via an interpreter.

"We want to make sure we have access to all sorts of information," he said. "But I also understand that public aid given to the program was problematic."

Source: AFP

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