Blind Discrimination Employment Japan

Japan’s Supreme Court upholds ruling denying the establishment of massage schools for visually impaired

The Osaka-based school corporation ‘Heisei Healthcare Academy’ had previously filed three lawsuits across the country, in Sendai, Tokyo and one other in Osaka, arguing that a law that regulates the establishment of anma massage shiatsu teacher training schools for visually impaired people, violates the "freedom of choice of occupation" guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution.

By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from TV Asahi

February 8 2022

TOKYO – Japan’s Supreme Court has made a ruling that denying the establishment of a new “Anma Master Training School” for the visually impaired does not violate the constitution.

The Osaka-based school corporation ‘Heisei Healthcare Academy’ had previously filed three lawsuits across the country, in Sendai, Tokyo and one other in Osaka, arguing that a law that regulates the establishment of anma massage shiatsu teacher training schools for visually impaired people, violates the “freedom of choice of occupation” guaranteed by the Constitution.

On July 9 2021, the Osaka High Court rejected the first appeal of the law made by ‘Heisei Healthcare Academy’.

In its ruling on the February 7th, the Supreme Court pointed out that “in the important public interest of protecting the visually impaired, it is not unreasonable to restrain the increase in the number of anma massage shiatsu practitioners who are not visually impaired.”

In addition, the court said that “there are 21 training facilities in 10 prefectures for people other than the visually impaired, and the restrictions on occupational freedom are limited”, and the regulation for the establishment of new training schools is “constitutional.”

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