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Japanese Diet May Be Pressed to Be More Barrier-Free

Japanese Diet May Be Pressed to Be More Barrier-Free

   Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, or Japan's parliament, is facing the prospect of having to quickly adapt its facilities to become more barrier-free, after the House of Councillors election set for Sunday.
   This is because candidates in the Upper House election include those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, and hearing impairments.
   According to Upper House records of precedent, it is possible for lawmakers to enter the chamber with a wheelchair or walking cane after notifying the house president.
   Former posts and telecommunications minister Eita Yashiro, who held a seat in the Upper House until 1995 before becoming a House of Representatives lawmaker, used a wheelchair. In addition, an ALS patient testified as a witness in the past.
   The Diet building was renovated in line with a law on promoting barrier-free facilities put in effect in 2006. However, an official from the Upper House secretariat said whether the building can accommodate all people on wheelchairs is uncertain because their shape and size differ.

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