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Home » Archives » August 2006 » Is 'Disability' Still a Dirty Word in Japan?

Is 'Disability' Still a Dirty Word in Japan?

Sunday, August 27, 2006 Posted: 02:41 PM JST

In the 80s I organized the Osaka Charity Festival to collect funds to buy custom made wheelchairs for students of a special school in Osaka. At the time I was surprised that you saw virtually no people with disabilities on the street. There were also almost no attempts by the government for barrier free access. Much has changed since then. Almost all train stations now have elevators, special toilets can be found in many locations and the number of people with disabilities that you encounter on the street has clearly increased.

Yet, a lot still needs to be done. "Roughly one in 20 people in Japan has some disability or another," writes Tomoko Otake in the Japan Times today. "But where are they? ... most Japanese quite likely live their whole lives without ever interacting with their disabled fellow citizens." What needs to be done? Read Is 'Disability' Still a Dirty Word in Japan?

Keywords: national_news

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
Stone Bridge Press

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