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Vocational Rehabilitation Research and Training

He tied up two staff members before killing at least 19 people in their sleep and injuring 26 in a knife attack. The man later turned himself into the Kanagawa Prefecture police an hour later, reportedly carrying a "bloodstained knife and cloth," along with a bag of other "edged tools. In a letter he wrote, he claimed to feel "sorry" for people with disabilities, especially those bound to wheelchairs for life.

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He wrote about their lack of contact with family members and believed that those with more extreme diseases should be euthanized. He had written to the government earlier in the year, advocating for euthanasia "with the consent of [the disabled person's] guardians. So he decided to take the matter into his own hands.

This act of pity for the disabled is a form of ableism , and this could be one of its deadliest manifestations. According to the website Stop Ableism , this prejudice "devalue[s] and limit[s] the potential of persons with disabilities. The Pacific Standard Magazine recently covered this story in respect to violence toward the disabled here at home, if you're curious. In spite of this mass murder, Japan is a very accommodating toward the disabled throughout its country. Just from personal experience, the sidewalks are lined with tactile pavements to assist the blind and visually impaired.

The tactile paving helps direct those with visual impairments around the streets with ease. The pressure is on for Japan to make their country as accessible as possible in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Activists hail Japan's election of lawmakers with serious disabilities

Thus, the country is nervous that this recent knife attack and its implication will set their efforts back. Some quick statistics about disabilities in Japan, Disabled-World. Japan's total population - ,, people Handicapped population - 7,, 5. How does this match up to the United States? In America, one in five people has a disability. Perhaps we should consider how accessible our own country is when 20 percent of our country is disabled.

Signs of disability in Japan

When it comes to mental illness and mental disability, however, Japan is a little less vocal about how many of its citizen possess these conditions. There is an old but sadly popular stigma around mental illness and disability in Japan. It's seen as a weakness and a hindrance to one's potential.


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For example, it's not kosher to mention a mental illness in medical records for employment since it might give employers a reason not to hire you. While many companies still fall below that number, the employment rate of individuals with disabilities has continued to grow year by year over the past decade. One organization certainly playing its part is Pasona Heartful.


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For too long in Japan, people with disabilities have been segregated. The situation has improved over the past 20 years, but it feels like a slow process. The government needs to enforce more stringent architectural policies ensuring that buildings have better accessibility for everyone. Suzanne Kamata concurs. Unfortunately, there are still many shops and restaurants, including new ones, that are inaccessible. This contrasts sharply with America where even old mom and pop stores have ramps.

Josh Grisdale, who has cerebral palsy and is the founder of the Accessible Japan website www. The toilets are also great and very easy to use. I remember the first time I came.

The 30 Selected Japanese Laws Related to Persons with Disabilities

There were all kinds of questions swirling around my head. Was the hotel going to be OK? Would I be able to use the train? The feeling of uncertainty was accentuated by the lack of information. As well as providing tips, the website also features various articles including some related to the Sagamihara massacre, an incident which Grisdale found difficult to comprehend.

Disability in Japan

Yet, Satoshi Uematsu is not completely alone in his perverse way of thinking. Ableism does exist and is exacerbated by public figures such as Australian philosopher Peter Singer, who advocates killing disabled babies via infanticide. Awareness is growing and attitudes are changing, however, I fear that discrimination will always be there. For further info, visit www.