Vietnamese government officials visit Japanese welfare facilities in preparation for basic law for the disabled [2008/06/25]
Meeting with Setagaya Ward personnel
The government of Vietnam plans to establish a basic law to aid its many citizens with disability. At the invitation of the Nippon Foundation, members of the team working on this project visited Japan from May 11 to 18 to observe facilities for those with disabilities. (Photo: Visit to Human Care Association independent-living center for the disabled)
Vietnam, which is reported to be home to 5.1 million individuals with disabilities (as of 2005), has yet to establish a law to aid these people. However, it is currently working rapidly to rectify this situation, based on the current Japanese system.
The visiting group consisted of seven members from Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, and was lead by MOLISA Deputy Minister Lu Bak Hong. In addition to visits to independent-living facilities for those with disabilities, they went to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and the Cabinet Office to learn about Japanese government policies on the disabled, focusing mainly on the “Independence Support Law for Those with Disabilities.” Japanese representatives described the circumstances at locations such as a home for the disabled in Hachioji, a group home for the mentally disabled in Hino, and such Tokyo facilities as an employment center, its related factories, and a medical massage center.(Photo: Representatives visiting Japan)
On the 13th, Yasuyuki Motohashi, manager of the Handicapped Facilities Promotion Department of Setagaya Ward's Health and Welfare Division, and Teruhisa Yokoyama, representative of the Center for Independent Living HANDS Setagaya, gave a presentation on local measures to support those with disabilities.
Mr. Motohashi described the conditions following the establishment of the Independence Support Law for the Disabled. Mr. Yokoyama, who uses a wheelchair, and has been assisted by helpers for 40 years, spoke from the perspective of someone who receives aid under the system. (Photo: The visitors with Chairman Sasakawa)
The visitors from Vietnam showed strong enthusiasm for establishing a similar system in their own country, asking questions on many topics, including how handbooks for the disabled are issued, how levels of disabilities are designated, the number of helpers active in Setagaya Ward, and the amount paid under basic pensions for the disabled. Finally, they paid a courtesy call on Chairman Yohei Sasakawa of the Nippon Foundation, who offered encouragement and issued a call to work together on behalf of the disabled.