Japanese Government must do more to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities

From The Tokyo Shimbun

July 16th 2018

That a group of hearing impaired people were refused a hotel request at a facility in Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture highlighted the fact that local governments are not protecting the law even after two years from the enforcement of the Disability Discrimination Law. Countries and municipalities are positioned by law as pillars to realize symbiotic society. In the present situation where the municipality does not play a role and the country’s efforts are inadequate, it is difficult for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to realize a symbiotic society listed for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in the year.

It was revealed this month that the youth education accommodation in Atami City declined in January that the Youth Department of the All Nippon Deaf Federation Youth Division had booked accommodation of about 100 people, “We can not respond in case of emergency or disaster.” The facility apologized for receiving a protest by the prefectural hearing impaired person association. We also prepared for acceptance by the guidance of the city.

Discrimination in public facilities is one after another. When the Japan Guide Dog Association examined the discrimination received in the last year for guide dog users, seven received refusals in citizen halls in Kanagawa Prefecture. An example is also reported in another group’s survey.

How can we eliminate discrimination? The law obliges the formulation of a manual ‘response procedure’ for administrative officials to deal with cases of discrimination against persons with disabilities. Furthermore, in order to share information in the local society and reflect the voices of persons with disabilities in administration administration, encourage the establishment of “disability discrimination support regional councils” composed of disabled groups and family associations.

According to the summary of the Cabinet Office as of April 17, the number of municipalities that formulated response procedures was 64.3%, while the number of councils was only 41.4%. In order to encourage local government aggressive efforts, it is necessary to grasp the current situation, but the Cabinet Office has compiled it for a year or more. There is dissatisfaction from the organizations with disabilities that this can not be dealt with properly.

A person in charge of the “Japan Disability Forum” made up of thirteen disabled groups said, “I would like the local municipal officials to think about what people think of those who were discriminated at public facilities, what kind of discrimination happens in the whole country I would like you to investigate the actual situation and make concrete responses to eliminate discrimination.

The law took effect in April 2016. The aim is to realize a society where people with disabilities can live together. It was prohibited discrimination on the grounds of disabilities and obligated reasonable consideration for national institutions, local governments and private enterprises. Reasonable consideration refers to the necessary actions for disabled people to live a social life, such as setting a step slope at the entrance of the building for wheelchair users.

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