Committee on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities
A. General principles and obligations (arts. 1–4)
7. The Committee is concerned about:
(a) The lack of harmonization of disability-related national legislation and policies with the human rights model of disability as contained in the Convention, which perpetuates a paternalist approach to persons with disabilities;
(b) The perpetuation of the medical model of disability across legislation, regulations and practices, including the disability qualification and certification system, which, on the basis of impairment and capacity assessment, promotes the exclusion of persons who require more intensive support, and persons with intellectual, psychosocial or sensory disabilities, from disability allowances and social inclusion schemes;
(c) Derogatory terminology, such as “mentally incompetent（能力のない）”, “mental derangement（狂わせる）” and “insanity”, as well as discriminatory legal restrictions, such as disqualifying clauses, based on “physical or mental disorder”;
(d) Inaccurate translation of the Convention into Japanese, particularly of the terms “inclusion”, “inclusive”, “communication”, “accessibility”, “access”, “particular living arrangement”, “personal assistance” and “habilitation”;
(e) Regional and municipal gaps in providing necessary services and assistance to persons with disabilities in the communities, including mobility support, personal assistance and communication support.
8. The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Harmonize all disability-related national legislation and policies with the Convention, recognizing all persons with disabilities as rights holders on an equal basis with others, including by ensuring close consultation with representative organizations of persons with disabilities, in particular persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities;
(b) Review its legislation and regulations to eliminate elements of the medical model of disability, including the disability qualification and certification system, to ensure that all persons with disabilities, regardless of impairment, receive the required support in the community in order to have equal opportunities in society and full social inclusion and participation;
(c) Abolish derogatory language and legal restrictions, such as disqualifying clauses, based on “physical or mental disorder”, in its national and municipal legislation;
(d) Ensure that all terms of the Convention are accurately translated into Japanese;
(e) Take the necessary legislative and budgetary measures to eliminate the regional and municipal gaps in the provision of necessary services and assistance to persons with disabilities in the communities, including mobility support, personal assistance and communication support.
9. The Committee is further concerned about:
(a) The insufficient involvement of persons with disabilities through their representative organizations in consultations concerning legislation and public policies, including those carried out by the National Consultative Council of Persons with Disabilities and by the municipal and intermunicipal committees on accessibility;
(b) The lack of a comprehensive response to the stabbings that took place in 2016 at the Tsukui Yamayuri-en facility, located in Sagamihara, mainly owing to a eugenic and ableist mindset in society;
(c) Limited awareness of the rights recognized in the Convention among the judiciary and justice sector professionals, policymakers and lawmakers at the national and municipal levels, as well as teachers, medical, health, building design and social workers, and other professionals who have a connection with persons with disabilities.
10. Recalling its general comment No. 7 (2018) on articles 4 (3) and 33 (3) of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure active, meaningful and effective consultations with the diverse range of representative organizations of persons with disabilities at the national and municipal levels, including by means of alternative communication, accessibility and reasonable accommodation, in public decision-making processes, paying attention to self-advocates with disabilities, to organizations of persons with intellectual disabilities, of persons with psychosocial disabilities, of autistic persons, of women with disabilities, of LGBTIQ+ persons with disabilities, and of persons with disabilities living in rural areas, and to those requiring more intensive support, including in the implementation and monitoring of and reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals;
(b) Review the Tsukui Yamayuri-en case with a view to combating eugenic and ableist attitudes and ensure legal liability for the promotion of such attitudes in society;
(c) With the close involvement of organizations of persons with disabilities, provide systematic capacity-building programmes on the rights of persons with disabilities and the obligations of the State party under the Convention, for the judiciary and justice sector professionals, policymakers and lawmakers, teachers, medical, health and social workers, and all other professionals who have a connection with persons with disabilities.
11. The Committee notes that the State party has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention. It also notes with concern the State party’s interpretative declaration relating to article 23 (4) of the Convention.
12. The Committee encourages the State party to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention, and to withdraw its interpretative declaration relating to article 23 (4) of the Convention.