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One of the few bright spots in Japan’s economy is the increased hiring of people with disabilities. Hello Work job placement offices announced last week that they had helped nearly 53,000 disabled people find work in fiscal 2010. That’s the highest number finding work since fiscal 1970, when data started to be collected, and it’s a jump of 17 percent from the previous year.

Small and belated as the change may be in the context of the overall economy, it is a welcome change. Clearly many companies have become more willing to employ people with disabilities. Others should do the same. The added hiring is a sign that companies are opening up to accept employees who are able to do the work regardless of who they are as individuals.

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