Disability in Japan

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In Japan, a person with a disability is defined as: "a person whose daily life or life in society is substantially limited over the long term due to a physical disability or mental disability".[1](p125) Japan ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 20 January 2014.


In 1998 the government estimated that there were 5,753,000 people with disabilities in Japan, constituting about 4.8% of the total population. The totals of the three legally defined categories were: 3,170,000 physically disabled; 413,000 intellectually disabled; and 4,170,000 have psychiatric disabilities. The physically disabled category was made up of people with the following impairments: 1,657,000 (56.5%) limb impairments; 305,000 (10.4%) are visually impaired; 350,000 (11.9%) have hearing impairments; while 621,000 (21.2%) had "internal disabilities" such as heart disease.[1](pp125-126)

Legislation and government policy[edit]

Japan signed the CRPD in September 2007, but took until January 2014 to ratify it. The long delay was due to various legislative amendments and policy reforms that had to be in place before ratification.[2]


2014 IWRF World Championship.

Japan made its Paralympic debut by hosting the 1964 Games in Tokyo. The country has participated in every subsequent edition of the Summer Paralympics,[3] and in every edition of the Winter Paralympics since the first in 1976.[4] It has hosted the Paralympic Games twice, with Tokyo hosting the 1964 Summer Games, and Nagano the 1998 Winter Paralympics. Tokyo is scheduled to host the Summer Games again in 2020.[3]


  1. ^ a b Iwakuma, Miho (2003). "Being Disabled in Modern Japan: A Minority Perspective". In Kramer, Eric Mark (ed.). The emerging monoculture : assimilation and the "model minority". Westport, Conn.: Praeger. ISBN 9780275973124.
  2. ^ Mayumi, Shirasawa (2 October 2014). "The Long Road to Disability Rights in Japan". Nippon.com. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b Mackay, Duncan (30 June 2015). "Major initiative launched to help Japanese athletes prepare for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics". Insidethegames.biz. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Japan - 7 facts on the Sochi 2014 Paralympics" (PDF). Paralympic.org. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

External links[edit]