I. General Statement

In 1980 the Government established a Headquarters for Promoting the International Year for Disabled Persons presided over by the Prime Minister as well as a special committee of academic experts and persons with disabilities. The government also performed a series of studies on future measures for persons with disabilities, and in 1982 formulated a first basic plan for Japan or the "Long Term Programme for Government Measures for Disabled Persons" (referred to as the "Long Term Programme" hereinafter).

This program was positioned as an action plan for the 1981 International Year for Disabled Persons, the main theme of which was "full participation and equality". Through promotion of measures, based on the "Long Term Programme", the policy for persons with disabilities in our country made steady progress in the areas of health, medical care, welfare, education and employment.

In 1987 a Priority Policy Programme for the second stage of the "Long Term Programme" was adopted to ensure comprehensive and effective promotion of measures for the welfare of persons with disabilities. Furthermore, in 1990 the so-called "Eight Welfare-related Legislation Revisions" were carried out and there was a substantial shift in welfare services from institution-centered services to in-home oriented services.

The "Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons" started in 1992, and in 1993 in Japan a "New Long-Term Programme for Government Measures for Disabled Persons" (referred to as "New Long-Term Programme" hereinafter) outlining the new policy direction for the next ten years was formulated in order to keep up with the changes in the socioeconomic environment surrounding persons with disabilities.

Here we would like to report briefly on the activities in the course of these ten years, as formulated in the "New Long-Term Programme," which is the fundamental framework for promoting measures for persons with disabilities in Japan and in the "Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities," which outlines the implementation of the priority measures in the "New Long-Term Programme."

In 1993 the Disabled Persons Fundamental Law was established, based on the full-fledged revision of the "Fundamental Law for Countermeasures for the Mentally and Physically Disabled Persons" that is the law concerning basic policies for persons with disabilities.

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