Digital communication cafe opens in Tokyo in run-up to Deaflympics 2025

TOKYO, Nov 15 (NHK) - Tokyo, the host city for the 2025 Deaflympics, will open a cafe where people with hearing impairments can communicate using digital technology.

Operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the cafe will be open from November 15 through 26.

The Deaflympics, an international sports competition for athletes with hearing impairments, will be held in Japan for the first time in 2025.

At the cafe's opening ceremony on Tuesday, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko expressed hope that people will learn more about hearing disabilities and the Deaflympics through their experience with digital technology.

Half of the cafe's roughly 20 staff members cannot hear. To take orders, they use technology that converts spoken words into written text, displaying them on a transparent screen. The screen can also show text that is typed with a keyboard.

Music played inside the cafe can be enjoyed by everyone through a device that vibrates when it recognizes sound.