Disability Education Human Rights Japan

Japan’s Education Minister “not thinking” about ending segregated education for disabled, as suggested by U.N., claiming it promotes “inclusive education”

On September 13, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Keiko Nagaoka spoke to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, regarding the United Nations' strong request to the Japanese government to end the current special needs education, citing that it is "separating" children with disabilities from regular education. At a press conference, she said, "I'm not thinking of canceling special needs education."

Extract from Huffington Post via Yahoo! Japan

September 13 2022

TOKYO – On September 13, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Keiko Nagaoka spoke to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, regarding the United Nations’ strong request to the Japanese government to end the current special needs education, citing that it is “separating” children with disabilities from regular education. At a press conference, she said, “I’m not thinking of canceling special needs education.” 

In 2022, the United Nations Commission on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities conducted the first “examination of Japan” to confirm whether Japan was implementing measures based on the convention, and published a report on the results of the examination on September 9.

The report expresses concern that the “separation” of children with disabilities into special needs schools and special needs classes makes it more difficult for them to receive regular education, and calls for an end to the current special needs education that separates children with disabilities. 

In a notice issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to boards of education nationwide in April 2022, the United Nations requested that children enrolled in special needs classes study in regular classes for no more than half the time per week. She was concerned and requested that the notice be withdrawn.

In this regard, Nagaoka emphasized that she would not withdraw the notice, saying, “It is regrettable that (the United Nations) requested that the notice be withdrawn because it promotes inclusive education.”

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