Japanese Barista Striving to Create Jobs for Disabled People

Society Lifestyle

Okazaki, Aichi Pref., Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--A 28-year-old Japanese barista is trying to create jobs for disabled people through a project to launch coffee products in March, after the novel coronavirus epidemic deprived many such people of places to work.

"I want to create jobs (for disabled people) with my coffee," said Kyohei Shibata from the city of Okazaki in the central prefecture of Aichi.

Shibata, who himself is hearing impaired, acquired a qualification as a barista while he was studying in Italy in 2016 following his graduation from a university in the preceding year.

After returning home, he worked at places including a cafe in the Aichi capital of Nagoya. He then started his own business to sell coffee at event venues and other locations in October 2018 to "show that disabled people can make a career choice." Upholding the concept of "social welfare and coffee," Shibata also runs a course in which he trains disabled people to become baristas.

In September last year, Shibata knew that the number of jobs for disabled people had been falling. Megumu Nakazawa, the 45-year-old head of Asunaro, a job support office for people with disabilities in Okazaki, told Shibata that the office had to temporarily close in line with the Japanese government's state of emergency over the novel coronavirus between April and May last year and that the number of customers had remained low after the lifting of the emergency declaration. Asunaro runs a cafe and manufactures auto parts.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press