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Wednesday, December 04, 2019, 13:00 - 14:00


Katsunori Fujii, Chairperson of Japan Council on Disability

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation.


The number of wheelchair-friendly hotels is growing, and elite athletes with disabilities are cast in the spotlight, as Tokyo prepares to host an accessible Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer. The national parliament building has also undergone barrier-free renovation after two persons were elected to the House of Councillors in July as the country's first-ever severely paralyzed lawmakers.

Signs are clear that Japan is increasingly accommodating the needs of people with impairments. But Katsunori Fujii, chairperson of the non-profit organization Japan Council on Disability, believes it’s not enough. The blind 70-year-old advocate comes to the Club to explain the need for improving the environment for disabled people and raising public awareness of their plights.

In 2016, Japan enacted a law aimed at eliminating discrimination against the disabled to keep in line with the 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. While banning "unjustifiable discrimination" against disabled people, the legislation also obligates public offices to give "reasonable consideration" to requests from them for removing discriminatory barriers. But it only encourages private businesses to do so.

There have been complaints against the exclusion of disabled people from package tours, the refusal to sell alcoholic beverages to electric wheelchair users, and the hiring of people who "can commute by themselves."

Fujii has devoted himself to supporting people with disabilities since his graduation from a school for the blind. He taught at a school for the disabled and managed work centers for them. He has headed the council since 2014.

Doors open for TV crews only at 12:30, all others at 12:45. Please reserve in advance, 03-3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. Livestreaming of press conferences are available on our website.

*Due to space restrictions, please note there will be a limited number of reservations to attend. FCCJ members, including TV cameras, will have priority for the reservation and seating/setting positions and one TV camera for affiliate networks.

Professional Activities Committee

Dec 04 19  PC Katsunori Fujii016


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