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Many people in Japan feel uncomfortable about having facilities for people with disabilities in their neighborhood, according to an online survey conducted in six countries and one region in July-August.

The share of respondents who support a plan to build a facility for people with physical disabilities right next to their home stood at between 62% and 69% in Sweden, China and India, compared with 33% in Japan, the lowest among the seven, according to the survey, reviewed by Jiji Press.

The survey showed the share of respondents supportive of having a facility for people with mental disorders next to their home stood highest at 61% in India and between 42% and 45% in the United States, Britain and Sweden. The figure was lowest in Japan, at 22%.

For the reasons behind opposing having a facility for people with disabilities next to their home, the largest number of Japanese respondents said they felt anxious about such a facility and its users. Many others cited security concerns and possible deterioration in their living environment.

The survey, conducted by Yasuyo Nomura, an associate professor at Osaka City University’s graduate school, collected answers from 4,095 people age between 10 and 69.

Nomura studies conflicts involving local residents opposing building facilities for people with disabilities. She has worked to resolve such conflicts in more than 10 areas.

In the survey, 51% of Japanese respondents said they have never interacted with people with disabilities, the highest among the seven.

In Japan, 13% of respondents said they are acquainted with at least one person with a disability and 7% said there is at least one colleague with a disability in the workplace, both the lowest among the seven.

Nomura said that upholding the right of people with disabilities to live anywhere takes root in the United States and Europe where there are also people who feel anxious about people with disabilities.

“The goal is not to eliminate discrimination or prejudice but to come up with a way to build relationships between people with and without disabilities even with anxiety,” Nomura said.

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