By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from Jiji
November 9 2022
TOKYO – At the Special Committee on the Establishment of Political Ethics and the Election System of the House of Councillors on 9 March, Parliamentary Secretary for Internal Affairs and Communications Mio Sugita contributed an article to a monthly magazine, saying that LGBT couples “have no ‘productivity'” in the past. She was questioned by Daisuke Tenbata, a severely disabled member of the Reiwa Shinsengumi, over the fact that he had written an article about LGBT couples in the past. Tenbata strongly criticized the article, saying, “As a person with a severe disability, I was horrified by the statement that those who are not productive do not deserve the support of the government. Sugita said she took the comment seriously, but did not retract it or apologize.
In a questioning session, Tenbata pointed out that “I feel that the basis of the statement that people’s value is evaluated based on their productivity is the same as that of Satoshi Uematsu, a death-row prisoner who caused the ‘Yamayurien Incident’ (in which residents of a facility for the disabled were killed and wounded)”. Sugita said she was “very disappointed that some people have the opinion that I am the same as death row prisoner Uematsu” and added: “I will do my best to realize a society that is close to people with disabilities and enables them to live well. We are still not making enough effort”.
Daisuke Tenbata who has multiple disabilities, including tetraplegia and a visual impairment and uses a wheelchair, won a seat in the House of Councillors in the election held on July 10th 2022.
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