The National Police Agency has decided to change the system for issuing driver’s licenses to people with such diseases as epilepsy, schizophrenia and cognitive impairment that can cause loss of consciousness while driving. The changes will be made on the basis of proposals made by a panel of experts set up after an April 2011 traffic accident in Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, in which a crane truck driven by an epileptic driver mowed down and killed six primary school pupils.

In changing the licensing system, utmost care must be taken so that the social participation of people with these diseases will be expanded and that prejudice about, and discrimination against, such people will not be fostered. The changes should not result in depriving such people of job opportunities and the means of transportation, especially in the countryside.

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