By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from The Asahi Shimbun
January 18 2022
CHIBA – On January 17, Chiba City announced that it had partially suspended the designation of Chiba Hikari-no-mura Jyoseien, as a facility for the disabled operated by the social welfare corporation ‘Metropolitan Hikari-no-mura’, due to the suspected abuse of two service users. The same problem had occurred at the facility nine years ago, the company said.
According to the city, in June 2020 and June 2009, a staff member at the school abused a user who had gone into someone else’s rice field by making him stand for four hours with a 5 kg bag of sand in both hands with the consent of the facility director. In response to the city’s investigation, he said:
“I thought that if I didn’t let them understand their problematic behavior, they would have trouble when they go out into the world. I didn’t think it was abuse.”
The school is a facility for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. The city has suspended the facility’s admission and employment support services for six months. The city says, “If we abolish the facility, the users will not be able to find a place to go, and we will set up a third party committee by the end of March, and after seeing the improvement measures submitted by the committee, we will consider how to deal with the situation again.
On March 17, the city also cancelled the designation of facilities operated by Respite Service Doremi, Chuo Ward, a day-care support business for children with disabilities, at the end of the current fiscal year on the grounds that the facilities had been receiving illegal payments by making false reports even though they did not meet the staffing standards as reported. The amount to be refunded will be about 25 million yen for the two facilities.