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Dialogue in Silence: Going Beyond Language Ahead of Tokyo 2020David McMahon

As Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games, the focus is increasingly on the need to prepare for people of different linguistic capabilities and physical needs. A range of activities are underway to prepare residents and visitors alike to interface with one another in positive ways, both during the sporting events and beyond.

Forced Sterilizations in Japan: The Push for JusticeYonemoto Shōhei

Between the end of World War II and the 1970s, some 16,000 people with mental illnesses and disabilities were forced to undergo sterilization under Japan’s eugenics laws. Although the laws are no longer on the statute books, the government has been insensitive to the suffering of victims and slow to make recompense. Recent lawsuits to seek damages and an official apology have brought the issue into the public eye, prompting questions about the government’s commitment to social justice and human rights.

Nagashima Osamu: Shuttling Between Badminton and R&DYoshii Taeko

Badminton will become an official Paralympic sport at the 2020 Tokyo Games. While working as a researcher of stain-resistant technology at Lixil, a leading maker of sanitary ware and other home products, Nagashima Osamu is also busily preparing for the 2020 Games as one of the world’s highest-ranked para-badminton players.

Kawase Naomi’s “Radiance” Featured at Tokyo International Film Festival

Kawase Naomi is one of the best-known Japanese film directors at work today. Her latest movie Hikari (Radiance), recipient of the 2017 Ecumenical Jury award at the 2017 Festival de Cannes, was picked for screening in the prestigious “Japan Now” program at the thirtieth Tokyo International Film Festival. Kawase discussed her distinctive approach to filmmaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

Man in Wheelchair Succeeds in Solo Paragliding Flight in Japan (News)

Nan'yo, Yamagata Pref., Nov. 17 (Jiji Press)—A 67-year-old Japanese man confined to a wheelchair succeeded in a solo paragliding flight on Friday in Nan'yo, Yamagata Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Suzuki Katsuyoshi prepares to take off in his wheelchair paraglider in Nanyo, Yamagata Prefecture, on November 17, 2017. (© Jiji) After completing his five-minute journey in the air and landing s…

A Life of Prayer: Kanazawa Shōko (Video)

Kanazawa Shōko is a woman with Down syndrome. She is also an acclaimed calligraphy artist and held a major solo exhibition at the Ueno Royal Museum from September 23 to 30. Her works have been shown at over 280 locations since her professional debut 12 years ago at age 20, and they have attracted over a million visitors.

Josh Grisdale and Accessible Japan: Helping Disabled Visitors Follow Their Travel Dreams

Canadian-born Josh Grisdale has used a wheelchair since he was four years old. For the past decade, he has been living and working in Japan, where he gained citizenship last year. His website Accessible Japan encourages disabled tourists to visit the country by providing information on accessibility and reviews of attractions.

A Room of Her Own: Kanazawa Shōko (Video)

A video look at the daily life of calligrapher Kanazawa Shōko, who has moved out of the family home and now lives by herself in a residential section of Tokyo.

At Home With Calligrapher Kanazawa Shōko: Down Syndrome and Independence

Kanazawa Shōko is an acclaimed calligraphy artist with Down syndrome. At the age of 30 she moved into an apartment to live alone—another feat that most people would consider impossible for someone with her disability. We take a peek at her daily life in a residential district of Tokyo.

Japan to Promote Universal Design for Paralympics

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government will redouble efforts to promote universal design for an inclusive society that is comfortable to everyone regardless of age, nationality and whether one has disability, in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The government plans to hold a meeting of cabinet ministers related to the project on Monday and announce an acti…

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