politics

2 lawmakers with serious disabilities attend 1st Diet session

38 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

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38 Comments
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The renovations have so far cost 880,000 yen.

All our tax payers money!!

Hope they voice common man problems..

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Great to see and what even better are the people who put them there.

@Dinesh The renovations have so far cost 880,000 yen.

All our tax payers money!!

Really your concerned over a measly 880000 yen you really think your taxes will be effected that badly because of this..You do realize that isn't even 10 thousand dollars..

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Dinesh,

Do you know how much money is wasted in Japan on a daily basis?

Do you know how many white elephants there in Japan?

The money mentioned above has been well spent and I hope the two politicians with disabilities do well and set examples for their entitled colleagues,who live in an entitled bubble,do follow.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"It's technically difficult to install a slope and lift connecting the main entrance to the chamber... because the building is very old, built when the word 'barrier-free' was unknown,"

And yet you have bragged about "barrier free" for ages, and even in pushing for the Olympics. We've been inconvenienced as time and again stations renovate to accommodate those with disabilities (understand, I am speaking with sarcasm!), but the government can't do the same? It has limits?

Now, all that said, what qualifications do these two have, just out of curiosity? I am all for representation, but as with a man or woman being elected because of their beauty and previous celebrity, what do Kimura and Funago bring to the table in terms of actual law experience? Just curious.

And about the 880,000 so far in costs to renovate, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what they'd give themselves as a bonus or tax cut, so the cost is irrelevant except to play victim and back-patting at the same time.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Funago, 61, is the first person with ALS to be elected to the national parliament. He cannot speak and communicates by blinking to his caretaker or using a computer system operated by his mouth.

I have several problems with this. Firstly, a person with such disabilities can not take care of themselves let alone the responsibilities of a pubic office; secondly, he'll need an army of assistants, all funded by the public purse; thirdly, it mocks the legislative process and turns it into farce; fourthly (and most seriously) the government may look at Funago and decide that if he is "fit to work", all disabled people are fit to work, and then adjust benefits accordingly.

We're not talking admission of wheelchair users, we're talking about people with very serious disabilities. What next? The comatose? Cadavers?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

While I do support the move to accommodate person with disabilities, but having the 2 representing without any common workings of government or the significant background is a step backward for the government. One of the disable even said on media " I don't even know what goes on at the government or who it works I have no skills for this", then why not get the right people. Also for the other guy who twitches in order for the personal assistant to type what at best may be what is being communicated properly is a suspicious at best, what if the guy has a twitch hmmm, 'that's not what I said, 1 hr later.... why not get the equipment left by Hawking's and put it on this guy. That would help speed the current process. I hope the Diet doesn't need a full vote on extremely important issues that require speedy resolution. Not with China, NK and Russian expansion as of late..I hope no one takes my post as ill will toward any disable people as I said I am supportive of having someone disable represent the voice of common people but at least get someone with government education or experience.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This does seem like a good thing, but I'm interested to know how they will contribute and whether their platforms will be taken seriously by the other members.

Japan's cabinet office says there are 9.63 million people in the country with physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities.

With a dwindling population under 26 million that is nearly 10% of the population. I'm curious to know how that compares with other countries.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bungle,

Good point but do you know how many secretaries and assistants the 'normal' Japanese politicians employ using money from the public trough?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Disillusioned: "but I'm interested to know how they will contribute and whether their platforms will be taken seriously by the other members."

About as serious as gay marriage and women working, is my guess. Pat yourselves on the back after the first appearance, then get back to the neglect.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Can they physically endure long hours of attending the sessions.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese nationalists who admire Abe govt are repeating hate or discrimination against disabled lawmakers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The renovations have so far cost 880,000 yen.

All our tax payers money!!

How about when LDP bigwigs drop that amount and much more on a single night ' work meeting ' at a posh Ginza restaurant/ hostess club....is that acceptable use of our taxpayer money for you? Or do you naively imagine they pay for it from their own pockets?

I am supportive of having someone disable represent the voice of common people but at least get someone with government education or experience.'

So am I, but you do realize there are a bunch of politicians ' that get elected at each senkyoo whose only qualification is that they are recognized by public because they were a Tv presenter , actor / singer, sportsperson or other such high profile recognizable personality. Ditto the hereditary new faces that are voted in because their pappy or uncle or whatever was a politician and they were born into a silver spoon political dynasty.....give me a common person who experienced a lot of hardship and knows average Taro,s problems first hand any day. Hope Reiwa Shinsengumi goes from strength to strength.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

rgcivilion1, “Also for the other guy who twitches in order for the personal assistant to type”

He does not twitch to communicate. His assistant has a board with the syllabary and he blinks to indicate which he wants. The assistant is not typing. He does his own typing on a computer using his mouth. By why am I bothering to write this. It was basically already in the article. Perhaps you didn’t read it.: “He cannot speak and communicates by blinking to his caretaker or using a computer system operated by his mouth.”

You also said: “I am supportive of having someone disable represent the voice of common people but at least get someone with government education or experience.”

Why? That’s not a requirement for the fit of body candidates Why should the disabled have to clear a higher hurdle? BTW Funago has ALS which onset when he was already an adult with a great deal of business experience etc

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Bring on the flak for saying it and I'm hope I wrong but these two just scream wins by sympathy vote.

As for tax payers money, the Diet should have already been built with such accommodations in mind. My concern regarding tax payers money would be if they're going to get a salary commensurate to their position and only be able to do minuscule workloads due to their disabilities impairing speed and efficiency.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

My concern regarding tax payers money would be if they're going to get a salary commensurate to their position and only be able to do minuscule workloads due to their disabilities impairing speed and efficiency.

So in other words, pay them less because they're disabled?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How did Funago campaign ?

most politicians are out & about screaming into microphones.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amazing and impressive that these two were elected. No offence but the people they were running against must be feeling pretty imcompetent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm all for supporting the disabled and helping them to work. The cost of the renovations are very reasonable. I'm sure they appreciate the renovations, and I'm sure they have no issues going through the back door. Considering their wheelchairs don't fit in most shops (I can't even go to Kali's with my baby's stroller!), they're probably highly appreciative.

HOWEVER, I feel that this is just a big publicity stunt for the government after having fumbled with the numbers of disabled people working for the government recently. Come on! 2 disabled people at the same time? Not only that, they found the most undeniably, eye catching disabled people for the job!

Good for them, but good for Abe too!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Now, all that said, what qualifications do these two have, just out of curiosity?

They are citizens of Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That person, “I feel that this is just a big publicity stunt for the government after having fumbled with the numbers of disabled people working for the government recently. Come on! 2 disabled people at the same time? Not only that, they found the most undeniably, eye catching disabled people for the job!”

Notice Funago and Kimura we’re fielded by the Reiwa Shinsengumi party, which is not the ruling party, nor in any way responsible for or involved in the government fudging the numbers of working disabled. If they had been fielded by Abe’s party you would have a point.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good.for.them, you don't see this in many other countries.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good for Japan. Disabled citizens have every right to represent in the Diet.

Good.for.them, you don't see this in many other countries.

Brilliantly stated, Old man, brilliantly stated. I cannot think of any other nation where "severely disabled" citizens can enter their parliament.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The renovations have so far cost 880,000 yen.

Come on now in the grand scheme of things this is absolutely peanuts.

Far more of the taxpayers money has been wasted on completely irrelevant things in the past.

Now, all that said, what qualifications do these two have, just out of curiosity?

Maybe they are good politicians, maybe they are bad who knows time will tell.

Point is they were legitimately elected and they have all the right to get a seat in the Japanese parliament.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"I'm curious to know how that compares with other countries."

Have it then:

"Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability. That's 1 in 5 people."

https://www.and.org.au/pages/disability-statistics.html

Good on Japan for electing whoever they want to their own Diet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 I cannot think of any other nation where "severely disabled" citizens can enter their parliament.

No need to think: Wiki has a long list of physically disabled politicians, from the whole alphabet of countries.

The majority appear to be wheelchair users, blind, amputees etc., but there are also people with spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, quadriplegics, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_physically_disabled_politicians

3 ( +3 / -0 )

These two are have been elected in a democratic way. They have every right to be there. Shame on the government that it took two elected members -who happen to be disabled- for them to even think of making that building barrier-free, it should have been done years ago, at the same time they passed a law for all public buildings to be made barrier-free. What were they waiting for? And now we get lame excuses, the building is too old blah blah blah

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hope they budgeted for the exit ramp.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability. That's 1 in 5 people."

Define "disability".

I play computer games incessantly. I like lolis.

Do I qualify?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Define "disability".

Read the link

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Define "disability"."

If you wanna be picky:

DD Act 1995

Equality Act 2010 - Consolidation of previous types of discrimination into one singe Act.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is tell you most of healthy japanese politician are retard or incompetent .Therefore people have no better choice but to elect two handicap representative have thinking brain that really try to do their best for the people even with disabilities. Don't be praising Japanese good ethic in promote handicap accessibilities .This show the healthy politicians so out of touch and bad corrupt that citizen get an honest handicap person that can do a better job for society .Shame on Abe it turnout this way shame on Japanese politician in power .You are worst than those two person.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who pays for the 880,000 yen costs thus far?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is a very delicate subject to deal with.

On the one hand I congratulate the two legislators for making history in Japanese politics. 

But on the other hand I think the political party Reiwa Shinsengumi of Taro Yamamoto. It is using the two legislators as an electoral weapon, seeking the sympathy of the public. In a populist atmosphere of easy promises, but difficult to fulfill. They're simply using them as visible propaganda for the party. And that's what bothers me the most. Using two highly disabled people as a claim should be banned. Because it would undermine a person's individual honour for their personal deficiencies. In addition to promoting a denigrating public spectacle towards a collective such as that of disability.

There are other ways of dealing with this issue without publicly exposing disabled people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I cannot think of any other nation where "severely disabled" citizens can enter their parliament.

You were doing well for the first three or perhaps even the first seven words.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can they physically endure long hours of attending the sessions.

Who cares? Cabinet officials and Prime Ministers take naps... excuse me, lean back with their eyes closed, for extended periods of time during question and answer sessions in the Diet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd rather see my taxes go towards this than subsidizing whale killings.

BTW, the USA elected a disabled President in 1932, FDR. He was in a wheel chair most of the time, but could walk with leg braces and people on both sides for extremely short distances.

Having representatives from various backgrounds can only help the govt properly reflect the needs and desires for more citizens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

..marking the first time people with severe disabilities have served in the body.

Oh really?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BTW, the USA elected a disabled President in 1932, FDR. He was in a wheel chair most of the time, but could walk with leg braces and people on both sides for extremely short distances.

You can't cite FDR's disability as an example. Unlike Funago and Kimura, FDR was not afflicted with severe neurological disorders. FDR had polio, which affected only his lower body. Otherwise he had full command of his upper body movements, speech and ability to communicate.

Furthermore, at that time, the public was not aware of FDR's disability as FDR and the media had an agreement not to highlight his handicap or photograph him in a wheelchair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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