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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 1 - 7  > Visually-impaired people want sliding-door barriers to be installed on platforms of all stations
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2020 April 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Visually-impaired people want sliding-door barriers to be installed on platforms of all stations

April 1, 2020

Japanese Communist Party representative Takahashi Chizuko at a witness hearing held on March 31 in regard to a bill to revise the barrier-free law asked for the opinions of experts and leaders of organizations for the disabled.

At the hearing held by the Lower House Transport Committee, Takahashi cited that the law underscores "public cooperation" in promoting smooth transportation access for the aged and the disabled, and asked the witnesses about what the central and local governments should do in addition to the effort to gain public understanding and cooperation.

Yamashiro Kanji, a representative director of the National Council of Visual Disabled in Japan, said that approximately 70 accidents involving people with visual impairments falling from a station platform happen every year, and reported on several cases in detail. Yamashiro demanded that automatic-sliding doors be installed on the platforms of all railway stations, and emphasized the need to assign enough staff to stations where no safety barriers are installed in order to prevent falls and rescue anyone who falls onto the tracks. He also demanded that at all crosswalks, acoustic traffic signals and "escort zones" be installed to assist the visually impaired to safely cross the road.

Chuo University Professor Akiyama Tetsuo pointed out that administrative support for persons with disabilities in regard to public transport accessibility in Japan, compared to the United States and European counties, is poor, saying, "The Japanese government leaves it to the goodwill of the people."

Onoue Koji of an NPO for the disabled said that wheelchair users have difficulty in getting into small elevators, adding, "It's unreasonable to expect that ill-equipped facilities will be offset by people's good intentions."

Past related article:
> Protect visually-impaired persons from falling from station platforms [January 17, 2017]
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