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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 31 - August 6  > Newly-elected parliamentarians with severe disabilities attend their first Diet meeting
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2019 July 31 - August 6 [POLITICS]

Newly-elected parliamentarians with severe disabilities attend their first Diet meeting

August 2, 2019

On August 1, the opening day of the 5-day extraordinary Diet session, two Dietmembers with severe physical disabilities, who were elected in the last month’s House of Councilors election, were seated.

They are “Reiwa Shinsengumi” party members of the House of Councilors Kimura Eiko and Funago Yasuyuki.

Since Kimura and Funago won their seats last month, the House of Councilors committee on Rules and Administration has listened to their needs and worked to remove physical and non-physical barriers in order to help them fully exercise their capacity to function in the Diet. One of the barriers was the cost of personal assistance care services during parliamentary activities. Kimura and Funago need to be accompanied by caregivers and the cost for this service is basically covered by public expense. However, under current rules on financial support for people with disabilities, Kimura and Funago cannot use this service at public expense during their activities as parliamentarians because these are deemed business activities. The House of Councilors has decided to pay a part of the charge for the necessary personal assistance services.

Kimura said that she is grateful to the Upper House. Stating that the rules on financial support remain unchanged, Kimura stressed that she will work to change the rules as it is a matter affecting all persons with disabilities.

The two Reiwa Party Dietmembers arrived on reclining power wheelchair together with their caregivers at the Upper House plenary meeting. Funago voted to elect the President and Vice President of the House. His caregiver wrote the names of his choice on the ballots, and a staff member of the House cast the ballots on Funago’s behalf.

Past related article:
> House of Councilors will undergo renovation for newly-elected members with severe disabilities [July 26, 2019]

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