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Ikumi Kawamata, Neru Nagahama and KIKI have been appointed as Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics Ambassador!


Introducing the “Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics Ambassadors”. Chosen for their experiences related to accessibility and sign language, the three ambassadors have been chosen to raise awareness and interest in the Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics, which will be held for the first time in Japan, and to promote greater understanding of an inclusive society.

The new ambassadors are Ikumi Kawamata-san, who is Deaf herself, is in charge of coordinating the Nippon Foundation’s support projects for the Deaf in the Asia-Pacific region.

Neru Nagahama-san, whose interest in sign language was ignited by learning sign language at an international exchange group when she was in elementary school. She has also appeared on sign language TV programs.
And “KIKI,” a digital human who is proficient in sign language and was developed for the purpose of realizing an inclusive society.

Ikumi Kawamata

Born in Tochigi, Japan in 1989, she became deaf at the age of three.
She went to the U.S. as a 5th year student of the Nippon Foundation Scholarship Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Abroad, and graduated from Gallaudet University with a B.A. in Social Work. She continued on to complete her Master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development at the same university. She has been in charge of coordinating support projects for the deaf in Asia at the Nippon Foundation.
She is a member of the board of directors of the Tochigi Hearing Impaired Association. She participated in the Deaflympics in Samsung as support staff for the Japanese delegation.

I am very excited to be able to support the Deaflympics together with you all.
I would like to deliver not only the splendor of the Deaflympics, but also the appeal of sign language and Deaf culture, as well as the comfort of an inclusive society, where diverse people can live their own lives while supporting and relying on each other, to as many people as possible. I also want to deepen my own learning.
I hope that the number of people who accept being “Deaf” in a more positive way will increase, and I will do my best to support them.

Neru Nagahama

Talent and actress. Born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1998..
She began her career in 2015 as a member of Keyakizaka 46 (now Hinatazaka 46) before debuting as a member of Sakurazaka 46. Since graduating from the group, she has been involved in a wide range of activities, including essay writing, writing her own books, working as a radio navigator, PR ambassador for NHK’s SDGs campaign, ambassador for Nagasaki Prefecture’s West Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train, and appearing in the TV series “Maiagare!” and other activities.

My name is Neru Nagahama, and I will be one of the Ambassadors supporting the Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics.
I am very honored to be involved in this event, which will be held in Japan for the first time.
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to learn sign language directly from high school students in a sign language learning TV program I participated in. I will use this experience to share with you the unique charm of the Deaflympics and, as one, we can support this valuable event to be held in Japan. I look forward to working with you!


A digital human who is proficient in sign language, developed for the purpose of realizing an inclusive society.
She learns sign language for her brother who has lost his hearing. At a festival she attended with her brother, she met a sign language interpreter who beautifully expressed rap music. Impressed by his passionate performance, she is now working as a sign language interpreter, respecting her own style.

I am happy to be appointed as a Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics Ambassador. I look forward to working with everyone to make the Games, where Deaf Athletes from all over the world will gather, more exciting!
My dream is to be a bridge that connects people around the world. I will do my best to make Japan the first country in the world to realize a “Deaf-friendly society” through the Deaflympics, the first Deaflympics to be held in Japan.

In addition to the above three, we plan to appoint other former athletes with prominent achievements in the field of sports to further strengthen our communication and PR activities in preparation for the Tokyo 2025 Deaflympics.

【TOKYO FORWARD 2025 Official Instagram】
Ambassadors’ efforts will be updated as needed!

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