【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.43: Current Status of Employment of Person with Disabilities

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, there are 8.602 million people with disabilities in Japan. Among those, 3.937 million are physically disabled; 3.924 million are psychiatrically disabled; and 741,000 are intellectually handicapped. Some of these disabled people are able to work, and a very important social policy calls for providing work opportunities for them.

In 2007, Japan adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international treaty signed in 2006. Then, in 2013, the government revised the Law on Promotion of Employment of Persons with Disabilities to establish a social system. While the number of employees with disabilities in private companies was already on the rise, as shown in Figure 1, the number increased further after the law revision. As of June 1, 2017, there were 496,000 employees with disabilities in private companies. Among these individuals, 333,000 were physically disabled; 112,000 were intellectually handicapped; and 50,000 were psychiatrically disabled.

The employment rate for persons with disabilities is the percentage of persons with disabilities among all employees. The law requires that this be 2% in private companies. As shown in Table 1, it reached 1.97% in 2017, which was very close to the target rate. Starting in April of 2018, the statutory employment rate for private companies will actually increase to 2.2%. The statutory employment rate for public organizations is set higher than for private companies; it is already at 2.2% or 2.3%. It is a problem that many public organizations have not yet achieved this goal.

Figure 1 Number of employees with disabilities in private companies


(Source)Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

Table 1 Situation for disabled persons' employment by type of workplace (as of June 1, 2017)


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