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May 2012

23 May 2012

Views on World Assembly in South Africa(DPI-Japan Chairperson MISAWA Satoru)

The article "A Voice of our own" published in our periodical #27-3 is as following;

8th DPI World Assembly was held in Durban, South Africa, between October 10 and 13, 2011 gathering approximately 1,000 people from 66 countries. 7th World Assembly was scheduled to be held in South Africa, which was decided at 6th Assembly in Hokkaido, but was postponed due to South Africa’s schedule conflict. There are a lot of complicated arrangements for holding World Assembly among the councilors. It is grateful that the Assembly was held thanks to the efforts of DPSA etc. overcoming the troubles.

 At the end of the Assembly, “Durban declaration” was adopted based on the agreement of all participants including delegations from Japan. It is necessary to make it clear how we handle this declaration.

 The declaration stipulates that DPI member countries ratify CRPD and the Optional Protocol until next World Assembly and make strategy for its realization. The reason why Japan has not ratified CRPD yet is that Japan Disability Forum(JDF) and other DPOs including DPI claimed not to ratify the Convention without domestic law amendment when the government tried to ratify in 2008-9. The Cabinet settled the Board for disability policy reform afterward and the Council for disability policy reform (hereinafter referred to as “the Council”) under its board is planning to law amendment for CRPD ratification. Our action to stop the ratification at that time was surely correct.

The Council set the basic conditions of the ratification which are 1) Revision of "Basic Law for Persons with Disability", 2) Enactment of "the Comprehensive Welfare Law" and 3) Enactment of "the Anti-Discriminatory Law". "Basic Law for Persons with Disability" was revised on August, 2011 which secures fundamental right of persons with disabilities and plans to establish inclusive law system remaining some points unchanged. Enactment of "the Comprehensive Welfare Law" and "the Anti-Discriminatory Law" is the remaining issue. To solve this issue, legislation based on the framework proposal, which aims to realize inclusive and equal society for all persons with or without disabilities, prepared by the Council is the next step. The Council is also working on the enactment of the Anti-Discriminatory Law. The ratification has to be done after the enactment of the Anti-Discriminatory Law including monitoring system. To realize our vision, we need to mobilize more people with us and tell the government and the society our own voices strongly. 

The declaration mentions the necessity of women and children inclusion in the system of disability policy. Persons with intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disabilities have to be particularly considered as well. DPI-Japan has to put priority on this cutting-edge issue in Japan. As for persons with psychiatric disabilities, we are making effort on establishing their rights and improving their conditions, but a lot of problems remain unsolved. Hence, we must do our best to change the education system for children and youth. CRPD stipulates that inclusive education for children with/without disabilities and require the ratified countries for implementation. The newly revised Basic Law for Persons with Disability also mandates inclusive education, but the education policy for children and youth with disabilities is basically separate education. To respond the declaration, DPI-Japan needs to do its best to change the situation and build network with other progressive countries in inclusive education. To establish rights and improve the social status of women with disabilities also is the main issue to tackle. It is regrettable that DPI-Japan has been developed with man-dominated views as well as in Japanese society. We have to increase opportunities which women with disabilities can live in community and socially participate equally with non-disabled women. Though reactions against the declaration and value of the words in the declaration can differ with countries, this declaration is apparently on a sound basis of UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. The declaration is an oath to actualize our every single right secured in the convention. With this point of view, I believe that our current efforts on disability policy reform to ratify the convention will be one of good practices of realization of the convention. 

Cross disability, which is main philosophy of DPI-Japan, is mentioned in the last of declaration. With this proof of our validity, we accept the declaration as an organization to lead the movement to obtain the rights and independence for all persons with disabilities.

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07 May 2012

The Boeing Company supports Persons with disabilities struck by Great East Japan Earthquake

In March 2012, the Boeing Company announced a $750,000 grant in support of DPI-Japan’s assistance to persons with disabilities in the Tohoku region.

”Through this small grant, it is my sincere hope that Boeing can make a meaningful contribution to your efforts, and that the result will be increased independence and peace of mind for disabled persons in the Tohoku region,” Boeing Japan president Mr. Michael Denton said at a presentation ceremony on March 7, 2012. The inventory of the grant was handed from Mr. Denton to DPI-Japan chairperson Misawa at the ceremony held at DPI-Japan office.  Running cost of Focal Relief Centers for next two years and purchase of 6 adapted vehicles for the most needed transportation service will be taken care of with this grant.

picture1:Presentation Ceremony on March 7 With Boeing Japan staffs (President Denton, second from the right in the front)

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“Disabled people in the Tohoku region have an immediate need for support to help them achieve independence,” Mr. Denton said. “Through this partnership, we feel that Boeing can make an important and sustainable contribution to Tohoku’s recovery. We are proud to be part of DPI’s outstanding work and to further our long-standing ties with Japan by helping the people of Tohoku and reminding them they are not forgotten.”  We really appreciate strong support from Mr. Denton and the Boeing Company.

Receiving this support, we invited Mr. Graddy, Boeing Japan staff, to see the activities of Relief Headquarters and Focal Relief Centers. Among local staffs who are victims themselves and staffs of Boeing Japan, we have studied current status and difficulties in the affected area and had discussions to find out necessary support as new social capital for living in the community in Tohoku region.

picture2:Mr. Graddy from Boeing Japan visited Miyagi Relief Branch in February(at the extreme right in the back row)

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With the powerful partner, the Boeing Company, Focal Relief Centers and Relief Headquarters for Persons with Disabilities of Tohoku-Kanto Great Earthquake will keep going!

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