• Kyodo News

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About 80 percent of disabled people surveyed by the government earlier this year think Japan needs new legislation to help them get jobs.

The survey of 1,430 people conducted in February and March is part of the 2007 white paper on measures to the disabled, which was adopted at a Cabinet meeting Friday.

There is “a need for further undertakings to protect the rights (of disabled people) and prevent discrimination stemming from disability,” the paper says.

As of last June, only 1.52 percent of employees at all private firms were disabled, short of the legally mandated 1.8 percent, according to the white paper.

In the survey, 79.3 percent of the respondents said new laws are needed to open up more job opportunities, with 39.5 percent, the largest group, saying the job market was unchanged from 10 years ago.

However, 36.0 percent said finding a job had become easier and only 14.1 percent said it was more difficult.

More than half of the respondents said they felt discriminated against when looking for work, with 19.2 percent saying the discrimination was “very much” and 23.9 percent saying it was “a little.”

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