Yesterday (April 2nd 2018) Barrier Free Japan shared an article from Kyodo which was reprinted in many news outlets, both online and in print. It concerned plans, recently approved by Japan’s Government to improve Japan’s transport infrastructure for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
Here is some of the article:
The Japanese government has set a target of achieving full barrier-free access at major train stations, bus terminals and airports for the disabled ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The step-free access rate at such facilities with more than 3,000 daily users on average stood at 87.2 percent in the year through March 2017. By March 2021, the government aims to boost it to 100 percent.
The country also eyes raising the proportion of low-floor buses and other vehicles to 70 percent by March 2021 from 53.3 percent in the year ended March 2017, according to a five-year plan from April for people with disabilities adopted Friday. In the plan, the government vowed to create an easily accessible environment and promote urban planning for them.
This is of course, encouraging and I try not to be too cynical, and I always hope that such ‘Cabinet approved plans’ will come to fruition. However, I am reminded of other ‘Cabinet approved plans’ five years ago regarding creating a ‘Barrier Free’ Tokyo that seemingly did not come to fruition. And such plans seem to be very similar to the 2018 plans.