August 30 2021
TOKYO – More and more public transportation systems and accommodation facilities in Japan have introduced barrier-free infrastructure since it was decided eight years ago that the 2020 Paralympics would be held in Tokyo.
In some cases, however, moves to prepare environments allowing barrier-free access have been hindered by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Experts and others have also pointed to the inadequacy of related laws and a lack of efforts to promote understanding for disabilities as major issues.
“Japan would’ve been a very different country if it hadn’t hosted the Olympics and Paralympics,” Satoshi Sato, 54, secretary-general of the Japan National Assembly of Disabled Peoples’ International, said on the country’s efforts to improve accessibility.
Japan revised the barrier-free law in 2018 and in 2020 to require train stations to prepare multiple barrier-free routes and larger elevators, depending on their size.