On May 19, 2022, the legislation promoting measures pertaining to access and use of Information, as well as communication by persons with disabilities (commonly known as the “Act to Promote Information Accessibility and Communication Measures for Persons with Disabilities”) was unanimously approved and enacted by the plenary session of the House of Representatives.
The legislation had been studied by the multi-partisan Diet Members Caucus for the Promotion of Information and Communication for Adults and Children with Disabilities and was submitted to the House of Councilors on April 12, 2022 by the Chairman of the Health, Labour and Welfare Committee as a legislator-initiated bill.
Previously, in June 2019, the former Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the former Democratic Party of the People, the Social Democratic Party, and the Communist Party submitted a bill on the promotion of ensuring accessible means of communication for the visually impaired, and others (commonly known as the “Information and Communication Bill”), which was carried over to the following Diet session but had not actually been discussed. This time, however, the legislation was enacted as a multi-partisan proposal.
The Act consists of 16 articles, and the purpose is stated in Article 1 as follows:
The purpose of this Act is to comprehensively promote measures pertaining to access and use of information, as well as access to communication by persons with disabilities, thereby contributing to the realization of a society in which all citizens can live together with mutual respect for each other's personality and individuality, without being divided by the existence of disabilities. In light of the fact that it is imperative for all persons with disabilities to be able to fully access and use the information they need and to communicate smoothly to participate in social, economic, cultural, and other activities in all fields as constituent members of society, this Act provides the measures for these basic principles. In addition, the Act clarifies the responsibilities of the national government, local governments, and so forth, and also establishes the basic principles behind these measures.
The main contents are as follows:
(1) Equipment and such that contribute to information access by persons with disabilities (Article 11)
(2) Disaster preparedness and crime prevention, as well as emergency reporting (Article 12)
(3) Measures pertaining to matters necessary for persons with disabilities to live daily life independently in society (Article 13)
(4) Consultation with persons with disabilities and information provided to them.(Article 14)
(5) Promotion of public interest and understanding (Article 15)
Enhancement of public relations and awareness-raising activities on the importance of information access by persons with disabilities and others.
(6) Promotion of surveys and research (Article 16)
Promotion of surveys and research on information access and such by persons with disabilities and dissemination of the results
The Act is further accompanied by the following supplementary resolution:
The Government of Japan should take appropriate measures on the following matters in the implementation of this Act.
This Act was promulgated and enacted as Law No. 50 on May 25, 2022.
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