From Jiji Press
July 2nd 2021
After Yuki Kashiwagi, a popular member of all-girl idol group AKB48, revealed in early June that she had been diagnosed with syringomyelia, a rare spinal cord illness, public interest in intractable diseases in general heightened in Japan.
Kashiwagi, 29, recently underwent successful surgery lasting over seven hours.
In Japan, about 940,000 patients with incurable diseases are eligible for public medical subsidies, and many of them are facing employment challenges. Some of them are reluctant to tell co-workers that they get tired easily over worries about being fired or being thought of as lazy.
A support group is calling for a broad understanding of their situation.