Masako Okawara (68), a member of the House of Representatives and a member of the Constitutional Democratic Party who uses a wheelchair; as well as Eiko Kimura (56) & and Yasuhiko Funago (64), whom are in the House of Councilors and are members of Reiwa Shinsengumi, were asked by The Tokyo Shimbun about what it is like to work in the Diet with a disability.
On March 26, during a session on the budget, Japanese lawmakers with disabilities were able to cast a vote in person owing to a ramp that had been built in the House of Councillors in January. This was the first time in history a lawmaker with a disability could vote in person, before it had to be done via a House of Councillors staff member.
In a recent interview, Yasuhiko Funago, a member of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, said, ” I had to make the tough decision of not attending the Diet session for a few days between late February and early March, amid the spread of the novel coronavirus in Japan.
Following the arrest of two doctors on Thursday 23 July for allegedly murdering a woman, Yuri Hayashi, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, at the patient’s request, Yasuhiko Funago, a member of the political party ‘Reiwa Shinsengumi’ has voiced concerns about the alleged ‘mercy killing’ incident in Kyoto.
“Selecting lives,” this word revives the unavoidable fear that I have had since I was a child, that I may be killed. I was very sad. It seems that my 35 years of fighting against discrimination in the community were denied, and I was very disappointed and could not control my anger.