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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 May 25 - 31  > 80% of disabled persons live below poverty line: civil group data
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2016 May 25 - 31 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

80% of disabled persons live below poverty line: civil group data

May 26 & 29, 2016
In Japan, 80% of people with disabilities are living on an annual income below the annual poverty threshold of 1.12 million yen and one in two has to live with their parents. This was indicated in data released on May 28 by Kyosaren, a group of operators of small-sized workshop facilities for the disabled.

According to the data, 98.1% of disabled persons earn less than two million yen per year and 81.6% are below the poverty line of 1.12 million yen. Their major income source is the disability pension under the National Pension System. The percentage of welfare recipients among disabled people reaches 11.4%, six times higher than that among ordinary people. In addition, 54.5% of the disabled have difficulty in leaving their parents’ homes. Even among those in their 50s, 34.9% have to depend on their parents to survive.

Kyosaren pointed out that in order to change this situation, it is necessary for the government to take the responsibility to review the existing programs for disabled persons.

Meanwhile, in the current session of the Diet, a bill to revise the Comprehensive Support Act for Persons with Disabilities was enacted on May 25 by the majority vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties and the opposition Democratic Party. The Japanese Communist, Social Democratic, and People’s Life parties voted against the bill as its contents fall far short of enabling the disabled to become self-reliant.

On the previous day at an Upper House Welfare Committee meeting, JCP lawmaker Koike Akira cited the fact that in 2010 the government and disabled persons in a lawsuit over the former “self-support” law made a basic agreement to create a new law reflecting handicapped persons’ voices and abolish the beneficiary-pays principle of welfare services for the disabled. He criticized the bill for violating this basic agreement. Koike went on to say that the bill also goes against the government panel’s proposal that the new law should be made in accordance with the basic agreement.

Koike urged the government to establish a needs-based type of legislation as suggested in an unsworn testimony at a Diet hearing session before the committee meeting by ALS patient Okabe Hiroki, a vice-chair of the ALS patients’ group.

Past related articles:
> Koike’s proposal for Diet committee to listen to ALS patient is accepted [May 18, 2016]
> 10,000 disabled persons call for a needs-based law [October 29, 2011]
> Disabled persons and the state reach consensus on lawsuits over ‘self-support’ act [January 8, 2010]
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