March 22nd 2019
TOKYO (Kyodo) — More than 750 applicants have passed Japan’s first examination organized exclusively for the disabled to become national public servants, the government said Friday, but the number is still far short of its target.
The exam was conducted after a number of central government offices were found last year to have inflated the number of their employees with disabilities to meet legally mandated quotas.
The National Personnel Authority said as there were many talented individuals it increased the number of those who passed the exam by 78 from its initial plan, while there were as many as 12 times more applicants than the total of 754 who passed.
Still, to achieve the hiring rate of the disabled for public institutions set by the country’s law at 2.5 percent of all officials, the government needs to secure 3,000 more.
By holding a second exam possibly in the fall and increasing the number of temporary staff to be hired by ministries and agencies, the personnel authority aims to meet the hiring rate by the end of this year.
In October, a panel consisting of lawyers and experts said 3,700 people as of June 2017, including retired or even dead people, were inappropriately counted as disabled personnel at 28 of the 33 national administrative entities it surveyed.
The government has said the percentage of people with disabilities in national office workforces as of June last year was 1.22 percent.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will hire 174 of the applicants who passed the exam, the largest number, followed by the Justice Ministry with 138 and the National Tax Agency with 90.
Only seven will work for the Cabinet Office, although it wanted to hire 24 people.
Of the total of 754 to be hired, people struggling with mental disabilities accounted for 57.3 percent, while those with physical disabilities were 42.3 percent.
Each government office will arrange the time at which they enter public service, with about 60 people hoping to work from this month.
“It may take some time before getting used to my new job, but eventually I want to take part in policy making,” said a man in his 40s, who passed the exam after being forced to leave a private company due to his visual impairment.