Treating Stutterers – Resources in Japan



In Japan, stutterers are said to make up about 1% of the population (source: Who is likely to stutter? by Tamara Pelletier)

The results of the current study Communication attitudes of Japanese school-age children who stutter  indicate that the communication attitude of Japanese CWS becomes more negative as they get older… and that grade level impacts a negative attitude toward communication. Kawai’s study explains the link between stuttering severity and attitudes of Japanese children who stutter and the results showed that CWS had a significantly more negative communication attitude than children who do not stutter (CWNS) Both CWS and CWNS in 1st grade showed significantly more positive communication attitudes than children in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. Furthermore, a link between stuttering severity and CWS’ communication attitude was found. Past research with the Communication Attitude Test (CAT) has shown it to be a valid and reliable instrument for assessing speech-associated attitude of children who stutter (CWS). However, in Japan, the CAT has not been used extensively to examine the communication attitude of CWS. The purpose of this study was to determine if a Japanese version of the CAT could differentiate between the communication attitude of Japanese elementary school CWS and CWNS . A Japanese translation of the 1991 version of the Communication Attitude Test-Revised (CAT-R) was used in this study.Source: The Abstract  J Commun Disord. 2012 Sep;45(5):348-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2012.05.004. Epub 2012 Jun 16. (Kawai N. et al.) ]

Stuttering Research and Treatment Around the World: Japan

“…In Japan, the primary treatments for younger children, including those with severe stuttering, have for a long time been play therapy and modification of environment. These treatments are prevalent for several reasons: 1) the clinicians’ belief that increasing self-awareness of stuttering would trigger emotional reactions that might lead to even more severe stuttering; 2) although many clinicians have a background in psychology and/or psychotherapy, many are not skillful in methods of direct speech treatment for stuttering; 3) and in Japan, the diagnosogenic theory of stuttering and its psychological problem have been accepted as important theories until recent years. For these reasons, indirect treatment has mainly been used not only with preschool children but with school-age children as well.

However, since about the end of the 1990s Japanese researchers have reported on a few young children who have improved with direct speech treatment. For example, Hayasaka & Kobayashi ([2000]. Treatment of severe stuttering in a child through integration of direct and indirect treatments.The Japan Journal of Logopedics, 41, 233-242) reported on a school-age child with severe stuttering who was treated combining stuttering modification techniques, play therapy, and environmental modification. Kenjo ([2002]. Speech therapy for a child with severe stuttering: A case report. Japanese Journal of Communication Disorders, 19, 18-26) reported on a school-age child with severe stuttering who was treated with an approach combining fluency facilitation treatment, play therapy, and environmental modification….

Self-help groups for stuttering play an important role in solving the problem of stuttering in Japan. The “Japan Stuttering Association” (Genyu-kai) was founded in 1966 in Tokyo. Afterward, local Genyu-kai were established in various regions. Currently, 29 regions in Japan are represented by Genyu-kai….


In the past, Japanese researchers of stuttering have studied under researchers in the United States such as Wendell Johnson, Charles Van Riper, and, more recently, Ehud Yairi (who allowed me to attend his stuttering research program at the University of Illinois from Oct. 2003 to March 2004). After they returned to Japan, they passed on their knowledge of research methods through their teaching in their home universities.

There has not been a great deal of stuttering research performed in Japan. However, the number of researchers has increased little by little and participation and presentation of Japanese researchers at International Fluency Association meetings has increased remarkably in recent years. Japanese researchers are working on various topics such as treatment approaches for children, brain imaging, and psychological issues. ” Read more



Stuttering Assessment Advocated by JSP: the Japan Stuttering Project

Masuhiko Kawasaki

Stuttering assessment methods currently most widely adopted in the world focus on stuttering symptoms. Having closely observed people who stutter (PWS) in real life, however, we identified the following two types:

A. People with severe stuttering symptoms who yet readily communicate with people around them and thus whose social life is largely unaffected.
B. People with lighter symptoms who nevertheless try to hide their stuttering and avoid public-speaking situations, and thus are seriously troubled by the condition.

Comparing groups A and B, one can say that people in group B suffer from stuttering much more deeply despite their relatively minor symptoms.

Dr. Joseph G. Sheehan, a renowned American speech pathologist, explained this using his “stuttering iceberg” theory whereby the real issues in stuttering are not surface symptoms, but those hidden under the waterline. They are behaviors to hide stuttering and to avoid speaking situations, an inferiority mindset, and negative emotions including uneasiness and fear of stuttering, and feelings of misery, shame or even guilt. Dr. Wendell Johnson, another great American speech pathologist, addressed in his “Language Relation Diagram” that the issue is not only a matter of symptoms or the reaction of listeners, but the attitude of PWS towards their stuttering behavior and others’ reactions.

The present Stuttering Assessment was developed in 1984 mainly through the efforts of Shinji Ito, Executive Director of JSP, and Dr. Hiroshi Uchisugawa, Japan’s leading speech pathologist, to assess attitude and behaviors of PWS. This method should enable us to assess stuttering’s negative impacts by measuring three categories: much one is restricted by stuttering, 2. how introverted one is, and 3. how frequently one tries to avoid speaking situations. 

Japan Stuttering Project

ISA contact person:
Shinji Ito c/o Kazue Shinji
17-3, Minamioji-cho, Kamigamo
Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603 JAPAN
Shinji Ito
B-1526, 919-1, Uchiage
Osaka, 572 0802
Phone: +81 72020 8244 (limited English) Email:



Marsha Rosenberg, a fulltime speech and language pathologist at the ASIJ(American School in Japan) Early Learning Center. She is organizer of the Tokyo Foreign Speech and Language Therapists Association, and as point person for referrals tries to match children with suitable therapists.
Read the profile page by Japan Times and Marsha Rosenberg’s article “Raising Bilingual Children
SELF-HELP Online book:  “Stutter no more” by Dr. Martin F. Schwartz

New research is shedding light on the inner workings of the brain: the neural center responsible for stuttering has been located. It seems more likely than ever that the 21st Century will witness a cure. According to Dr. Schwartz, until then, we can stop stuttering with a simply-learned technique and can, after 9 to 12 months of practice, make a permanent, new habit.

Referrals by the Stuttering Foundation in America:

Stuttering Treatment by speech pathologists in Japan (listing of clinics of speech pathologists mostly in nearby Kanagawa and Hukui city):

Yuki Hara, M.A.
School of Allied Health Sciences
Kitasato University
1-15-1 Kitasato
Sagamihare, Kanagawa 228-8555
Noriko Kobayashi, Ph.D.
1-24-9-607 Sonan, Sagamihana
Kanagawa 228-0812
Nao Yasuda, M.S., CCC-SLP
Kitasato University East Hospital
2-1-1 Asawizoolai
Sagamihara Kahagawa 228-0828
+81 42 (748) 2708
+81 42 (748) 2078
Makoto Kariyasu, Ph.D.
Fukui Inst of Tech For Med
1-42 Mittazuka
Hukui City 910

Japanese Association of Speech-Language-Hearing Therapists (JAS)

Japanese Association of Speech-Language-Hearing Therapists (JAS)was founded in January 2000 to unite and represent nationally licensed speech-language-hearing therapists. JAS is a national professional and scientific association consisting of approximately 12,000 (as of July 2012) nationally licensed members who work with and work for the millions of individuals with communication disorders and swallowing problems in Japan. As speech-language-hearing therapists (SLHTs), we provide assessments, treatment, and other assistance necessary to maximize our clients’ communication capacities. We provide services to improve our clients’ impaired functioning, maintain and/or improve their residual functioning, and educate their families and communication partners.

6-29-9F, Shin-ogawamachi, Acropolis Tokyo Building, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0814 

All Japan Genyukai Association
(office) 1-30-15, Minami-otsuka,Toshima-ku, Tokyo,Japan  +81 3942-9538 Email:

Japan | International Stuttering Association

US-based Japanese speech therapist/pathologist

Suzuki Speech Therapy

Misako Suzuki, M.A., CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist and a certified speech therapist of Japan, providing speech therapy services in Japanese and English.  See her Facebook page.

Contact Information

Suzuki Speech Therapy LLC
Misako Suzuki, MA, CCC-SLP
9450 SW Commerce Circle Suite 305
Wilsonville, OR 97070

TEL: 503-925-4507
FAX: 503-825-7000


Over 1,000 students annually become registered SLH therapists, of whom nearly 70% are under the age of 39 years. Recent trends in Japanese speech-language-hearing (SLH) therapy education and the continuing rapid growth of educational institutions was reported on in Some issues of Japanese speech-language-hearing therapy.since our last report. The educational curriculum was established by the 1997 certification of Japanese SLH therapists, and is strictly applied to educating both college/university and vocational school students.


Not for stutterers, but the Voice & Speech – KUMADA CLinic treats SPASMODIC DYSPHONIA with trained technique of LARYNGEAL EMG. “SPEECH THERAPIST” (as “SPEECH PATHOLOGIST/AUDIOLOGIST” in USA) is a title certified by Japanese Government. SPEECH THERAPISTS in our clinic provide voice and speech therapy as well as swallowing disorder therapy. Their therapy is covered by Japanese Government Health Insurances and Social Insurance

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