Disability Japan Politics Reiwa Shinsengumi

One year after election, Japanese lawmaker Eiko Kimura, who has a disability, writes about her activities in office

Eiko Kimura was elected in the July 2019 to the upper house of Japan's as a member of the Reiwa Shinsengumi Party. Councillor Kimura has cerebral palsy.

Extracts translated from Eiko Kimura’s Website

June 17 2020

Eiko Kimura was elected in the July 2019 to the upper house of Japan’s as a member of the Reiwa Shinsengumi Party. 

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Thanks to everyone who supports my activities, I was able to finish the first ordinary Diet session. Thank you very much.

Since I became a member of the Diet, I received a lot of consultation from people with disabilities and I am making use of my own experience to solve each one.

In the current Diet, as many people with disabilities are exposed to the difficult situation as the new coronavirus infection spreads, and there is a desire to be directly involved in the measures, we requested attendance at the “New Coronavirus Countermeasures and Opposition Party Council”.

As a result, although they did not participate in the council due to customs, they were given the opportunity to receive a report from the Corona Countermeasures Council from the government, and many people, including persons with disabilities, were worried about the anxiety and difficulty. We have regularly communicated the situation to the government and proposed improvements.

Although the government’s measures are slow, I have some doubts whether or not we were able to fully respond to the difficult situations of persons with disabilities, but we would like to continue to send voices from the field to the government and work to improve them.

In the current situation, with the number of accidents involving visually impaired people falling from the platform will not be reduced, the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Commission made recommendations such as promoting the installation of platform doors and the installation of Braille blocks in the center of the platform, and the unmanned station is advancing. We have recommended that people with disabilities not be able to use the station with peace of mind have permanent staff assigned to the station.

Also, as barriers on the hard side of buildings and transportation have been focused on until now, the Barrier-free Law amended by the Diet this time has added “mind-free barriers”. In the question and answer, we were able to call a person with severe disability to a reference person so that everyone could know the current situation of discrimination.

I think that if people with disabilities and healthy people understand each other and that they are able to get rid of their minds, it will be a step toward the social participation of many people with disabilities.

We will continue to work on the suggestions and requests we receive from everyone, and I would like to grow as a member of the Diet, so I look forward to your continued support.

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