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Japanese bureaucracy receives a lot of criticism, most of it appropriate, but the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s imposition of regulations obliging private companies, as well as central and local governments, to employ a certain percentage of intellectually or physically disabled people is an entirely positive change. The regulations mean a big improvement for a large number of disabled people.

From April the requirement for employing disabled people will be raised from the current 1.8 percent to 2 percent for private companies and from 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent for central and local governments. Though these percentages are low, the ministry is perhaps right to introduce such changes at an incremental pace. Many companies are resistant to hiring disabled people and the system for training workers needs to be further developed.

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