Officials of the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry said Friday the ministry compiled a document in February 2003 that recognizes the danger of automatic revolving doors — but did nothing to improve safety standards.
The document, compiled by a panel that included government officials, building experts and representatives of disabled people, served as a guideline for designing buildings. A 6-year-old boy was crushed to death by an automatic revolving door last week at the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo. It was subsequently learned that the same door had injured others, and that other revolving doors elsewhere in Japan had also caused injuries.
The ministry established the panel in 2001 to prepare for the implementation of a revised law that promotes designs for public facilities friendly to the aged and disabled, the officials said.
The document was used in workshops for architects held by the ministry’s affiliated organizations.
In the document, the panel said automatic revolving doors “are dangerous because they are difficult for the aged and disabled people to use.”
“It is desirable not to have revolving doors. If they are necessary, it is better to have (automatic) sliding doors nearby,” the panel said.
The ministry did not plan to establish safety standards when compiling the document. But following the fatal accident, it decided to set up a panel to compile safety guidelines in cooperation with the industry ministry.