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Drivers with disabilities in Japan are given special blue-and-white stickers for their cars that allow them to park in convenient places so they don’t have to travel too far across a parking lot to get to their destinations. If you don’t have such a sticker, you could be fined for parking in the same spot.

The sticker is part of an elaborate system that consists of multiple overlapping statutory regimes that define disabilities and clarify the process of certifying those who have them. Those who qualify are given a shōgaisha techō (disability certificate) to help prove their status in various situations. Disability is a component of the holder’s legal identity, showing they are entitled to privileges and benefits that try to counterbalance the disadvantages that come with having a disability.

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