Written with extracts translated from Oita Press
November 20th 2019
JR Kyushu is promoting the implementation of unmanned station in Oita city that discriminates against people with disabilities.
A civic group made up of people with disabilities and supporters will file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the Oita District Court on November 19th.
Assistance for getting on and off the train requires reservations, so it is argued that “there was a limit that has never existed. It was a response lacking reasonable consideration (to remove social barriers).” The pros and cons of unmanned work will be contested in the judiciary.
“The meeting to create Oita Prefecture where everyone can live with peace of mind” was decided. According to the co-representative, Tokuda Yasuyuki, the first lawsuit in Japan to question the lack of reasonable accommodation for unmanned stations. There is also an aim to make the problem widely known and to prevent the expansion of target stations.
JR Kyushu, which is rationalizing the railway business, plans to unmanned at 8 stations in Oita City.
In October last year, the association submitted signatures for 73,113 people who requested the withdrawal of the plan. Based on the prefectural ordinance prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities, we have been searching for ways to solve problems through the prefecture since March this year.
Talks with the prefecture ended unsuccessfully, and it was confirmed that the decision was taken at the evening meeting on the 19th. The timing is undecided and will be examined while looking at the trend of the plan. The disabled person who uses the unmanned station becomes the plaintiff.
Mr. Tokuda emphasized that “I want to make a trial to ask the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act and Prefectural Ordinance with reasonable considerations.”
JR Kyushu told the interviewer , “I want to continue to take opinions and requests with sincerity and respond as much as possible.”