Election Law Reform in Japan Recognized by Zero Project in Vienna

by Nagase Osamu

“Enfranchising People under Guardianship” is selected as one of 11 innovative policies of independent living and political participation by Zero Project and awarded a certificate in Vienna, Austria on 25 February 2015. Ms. Nagoya Takumi sued the government of Japan claiming that the deprivation of her voting rights was against the constitution. The Tokyo District court ruled that the provisions of the Election Law was violating the constitution in March 2013. Following this ruling the parliament took a swift action, only in 74 days, deleting the relevant provisions and restored voting rights for more than 136,000 people under guardianship. Present in Vienna to receive the certificate were Mr. Nagoya Seikichi, the father of Takumi, Ms. Sugiura Hitomi, attorney at law, who led a team of dedicated lawyers, and Prof. Nagase Osamu, Asia-Pacific representative of Inclusion International. Ms. Nagoya unfortunately is not fit to travel a long distance to Vienna. On her behalf, her three sisters, Megumi, Ayumi and Chinami, accompanied Mr. Nagoya.

Mr. Nagoya, Ms. Sugiura and Nagase made a presentation on “Enfranchising People under Guardianship” on in a session on “the Right to Vote for Everyone” on 27 February 2015. The session was chaired by Maureen Piggot, President of Inclusion Europe and included Tomislav Ivaskovic and Damian Janusevic of Association for Self Advocacy, Alexander Preobrazhenskiy of Council of Europe, and Patrick Clarke of International Disability Alliance.

Related link: Voting Rights Restored by the Revision of Election Law in Japan