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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 24 - 30  > 3rd year commemoration of disability hate crime reminds need for society endorsing mutual respect
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2019 July 24 - 30 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

3rd year commemoration of disability hate crime reminds need for society endorsing mutual respect

July 26, 2019
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Three years have passed since the occurrence of the mass murder of disabled people at “Tsukui Yamayuri En” in Kanagawa’s Sagamihara City, killing 19 residents and injuring 27 others, including staff members. The attacker, a former worker at the facility, was charged with murder. It is reported that he justified his act of killing persons with severe disabilities by saying that there is no point in their continuing to live. The cruel hate crime against the disabled has left a lasting psychological damage on victims’ families.

The perpetrator’s claim that the lives of the disabled are worthless is based on eugenics which asserts that “inferior” people should be removed from the society. Reportedly, he still maintains this belief.

What people are especially worrying about is the fact that the mass murder crime occurred amid growing concern over a social atmosphere which denies diversity and individual dignity and over growing social intolerance toward those who are labeled “unproductive” as shown by the widespread use of the expression “winner/loser”. It is more important than ever to make social efforts to address discriminatory ideas that may lead to support for eugenics. Politicians have an important role to play in this regard. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s indifferent attitude should be called into question as he did not criticize an LDP Dietmember for calling LGBTQ persons “unproductive”.

In the House of Councilors election on July 21, candidates with physical disabilities were elected. It is necessary to help them work as parliamentarians by such means as making barrier-free improvements in the Diet building and revising parliamentary rules.

The urgent need now is to combat discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities as well as work to create a society where everyone can live with dignity. It is also essential to realize a government which makes the best use of the Japanese Constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Let us join hands and work to turn the productivity-centric society to a society endorsing mutual respect.

Past related articles:
> Cross-party local LGBT lawmakers urge Sugita to apologize for her ‘unproductive’ remark [August 5, 2018]
> Eugenics still not a thing of the past [July 26, 2018]
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