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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 November 26 - December 2  > Disabled persons in rally call for abolition of ‘self-support’ law
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2008 November 26 - December 2 [WELFARE]

Disabled persons in rally call for abolition of ‘self-support’ law

December 1, 2008
About 220 people, mainly disabled persons, held a rally on November 30 in Tokyo to call for the law to promote ‘self-support’ of persons with disabilities to be abolished.

They also demanded the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.

The National Conference to Support the Life and Right of Disabled Persons sponsored the rally.

The so-called ‘self-support’ promotion law was enacted on October 31, 2005 and went into effect on April 1, 2006. Under the law, disabled persons in principle must pay 10 percent of the costs of the welfare and medical services they receive. The severer the disabilities, the more they will have to pay for services.

Japan Disability Forum President Fujii Katsunori in his speech said that the “self-support” law is “effective for restraining government spending.” He also criticized the law for requiring disabled persons to pay for the assistance they need to have meals and excretion because the law considers it as a ‘benefit’ they receive.

In the rally, many said that facilities for disabled persons face financial difficulties due to very inadequate government compensation for assistance to disabled persons and that local governments are cutting back on subsidies for disabled persons’ medical costs.

A 65-year-old man in a wheelchair said, “I am encouraged to see the growing opposition as shown by the large number of participants in this rally. The government is planning to spend two trillion yen for the fixed-sum cash handouts. If the government can afford that, the money should be used to avoid cutting medical expenditures and to support disabled persons.”
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