Press Conference:
Being Disabled in Japan
Eiko Kimura
Member of the House of Councilors
Yasuhiko Funago
Member of the House of Councilors

15:00 - 16:00, December 03, 2020
(The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation.)

The cabinet office says there are 9.63 million disabled people in Japan. The country became a signatory to the 2007 United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities after years of campaigning by grassroots movements to make the society more open, accessible, and inclusive. But problems remain: the state pays for carers only if the disabled person is not employed or in school. Because the cost of help exceeds their salaries, disabled people are deprived of the chance to work or go to school, which prevents them from joining society, making them almost "invisible".

Despite a 2016 law banning discrimination against the physically and mentally disabled, both public and private sectors have yet to deliver on their promise of creating a more diverse work and life environment to accommodate these individuals. On this United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, two prominent disabled lawmakers will come to the FCCJ to raise awareness of the many challenges faced by people with disabilities.

Eiko Kimura, 54, is paralyzed from neck down due to cerebral palsy and fights for better integration of disabled people into society.  

Yasuhiko Funago, 63, was once a trading company employee. He admits that before he was diagnosed in 2000 with ALS, a neurological disease that robbed him of the ability to speak, he had "no idea how people with disabilities or illness were living."  

Both made history when they were elected to the House of Councilors last year. As Tokyo prepares to host the Paralympics alongside the Olympics in 2021, there's no better time to hear these two trailblazers make their case for why people with disabilities should enjoy the same rights as everyone else.

How to attend:

Please register at with your name, name of media outlet, FCCJ membership number. Due to space restrictions, please note there will be a limited number of reservations to attend. Doors open at 14:15. Please sign in your name and contact details at the reception with your own pen and to have your temperature taken before proceeding.

How to watch online:

Livestreaming of the press events will be available and video of this event will be uploaded to our FCCJ YouTube channel.

How to ask questions:

Members watching the event online can submit questions for the speakers in advance using this submission form (English only).

TV crew: Please make a reservation at Door open for TV crews only at 14:30. There will be five positions available for livestreaming.                                          

Professional Activities Committee