By Barrier Free Japan with extracts translated from The Mainichi Shimbun
June 28 2020
After previously saying it would end investigations into the possible abuse of residents where nineteen disabled residents were killed at a care home in Sagamihara city, the Kanagawa prefectural government has reversed its decision not to investigate the abuse further.
Satoshi Uematsu killed 19 disabled residents and injured 26 others at the “Tsukui Yamayurien” disability welfare facility in Kanagawa prefecture in July 2016.
Tsukui Yamayurien was a facility for people witch disabilities. It was managed by the social welfare corporation ‘Kanagawa Kyokai.’
In the autumn of 2019, information was received that inappropriate support was being provided to the residents of the care facility. In January 2020, it was announced that a ‘third party group’ or ‘verification committee’ had been established.
The Kanagawa Prefectural government initially announced on May 18 its intention to discontinue any investigation into abuse at the care home in Sagamihara City.
The Prefectural Assembly Health and Welfare Standing Committee on May 18, explained that “the verification of Tsukui Yamayuri Garden ends with an interim report” adding that “a final report will not be created”.
This policy was not communicated to the verification committee in advance, and Chairman Sato said, “I was surprised because I was planning to conduct a hearing of the garden staff who had been postponed due to the effect of the new coronavirus.
The interim report pointed out the suspicion of long-term abuse by listing the actual conditions, such as physical restraints that do not meet the requirements and locking the room for a long time.
Criticisms regarding the discontinuation of the verification committee was made by experts and groups compromised of people with disabilities who cited ‘The Act on Prevention of Abuse of Persons with Disabilities’. Requests for continuation of verification were submitted to the prefecture.
The Kanagawa Prefectural Government announced on June 26th that it would change its policy and continue to investigate the possible abuse of disabled people at the Tsukui Yamayurien care home in Sagamihara City.