Statement by Mitsuo TAKEGAWA,Director General for Policy on Cohesive Society, Cabinet Office

at the Ninth Session of the Conference of States Parties
to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
14 June 2016

Mr. Chair,

It is my great honor to deliver this statement representing the Government of Japan. I now serve as Director-General for Policy on Cohesive Society, Cabinet Office, responsible for measures for persons with disabilities of the Japanese government.

Japan ratified the CRPD in January 2014, and it took effect in February of the same year. And now, the Japanese government is in the process of submitting its initial report, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations soon.

When preparing the report, the Japanese government stressed the importance of the monitoring framework specified in Article 33 of the Convention. Thus, the Japanese government collected views of the Policy Commission on measures for Persons with Disabilities, and reflected them in the report, through monitoring the current status of implementation of the Basic Program for Persons with Disabilities. This features a unique aspect of our report.

As for the Commission on Policy for Persons with Disabilities, which serves as national monitoring framework, the majority of members are persons with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental disabilities (including developmental disabilities), intractable diseases, or organizations of such persons and their families. The Commission, chaired by Professor Jun ISHIKAWA, provides views and insights from various standpoints, and it is further enabled by the basic Act for Persons with Disabilities to state its opinions and submit recommendations to the Prime Minister.

Incidentally, before conducting the monitoring, the Policy Commission invited Professor Emeritus Ron McCallum, the former chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to exchange views on the constructive dialogue that took place between the UN Committee and the States Parties so that all members of the Policy Commission would share a unified mindset with regard to the monitoring. Japan, as a state party, is willing to cooperate with the UN Committee as closely as possible.

It is a challenge to make Article 5 of the Convention, “equality and non-discrimination” reality in many societies. In Japan, “The Act for Eliminating Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities” went into effect this April. The Act prohibits administrative organizations and the private sector from unfair discriminatory treatment because of disability, and requires the provision of reasonable accommodation. Japanese government will continue actively to implement relevant measures, in pursuit of “equality and non-discrimination.”

In 2020, Japan will host Paralympic Games, and will welcome a large number of people from all over the world. I am assured that these Games will allow Japan to create a society that is friendly and welcoming to all people, and become a truly inclusive society.

Mr. Chair,
Japan will continue to make further efforts to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities through the implementation of the Convention. I thank you for your kind attention.