On the 24th, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism compiled a draft barrier-free measure to enable people with disabilities to get on and off smoothly at unmanned stations. If it is not possible to assign a staff member to assist wheelchair users in advance, the main suggestion is for drivers and conductors to get off the train and assist. Specific guidelines are to be established within the year.
Hotel Kazusaya in Nihombashi, Tokyo, reopened in summer last year following a major refurbishment carried out in sync with the original schedule of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The doorways of its guest rooms have been resized to 85 centimeters wide. At the stage of planning, the doorway width was set at 75 centimeters. But in 2019, the Tokyo metropolitan government amended its relevant ordinance for hotels. Under the new standard, the doorways of rooms in newly built hotels or newly added facilities must be “a minimum of 80 centimeters in breadth,” so that wheelchairs can get through the doorway easily.
Members of the All Japan Council for the Visually Impaired, a group of visually impaired people, have inspected the dangers of JR Ochanomizu Station (Chiyoda Ward) and Yoyogi Station (Shibuya Ward), both of which have steps on the platform. At Ochanomizu Station, which does not have a platform door, they believe that people could fall off the platform.
The edge of the platform has been raised to reduce the gap between the platform and the carriage to about three centimetres, and the sides of the platform have been fitted with rubber parts to narrow the gap between the platform and the carriage so that wheelchair tyres cannot get stuck.
In order to make it easier for people with disabilities to use the system, a council made up of 69 railway and bus operators in the Kanto region and elsewhere has announced that from the second half of next year people will be able to use Suica and PASMO to receive discounts without having to show their disability certificate.