On 27 May 2013 the parliament in Japan unanimously revised the Election Law, deleting the article (11.1.1) that deprived people under adult guardianship of their right to vote and right to stand for elections.
This was a speedy response to the Tokyo District Court Ruling on 14 March 2013, which judged this relevant article unconstitutional. Ms. Nagoya Takumi, a woman with an intellectual disability sued the government in February 2011. Inclusion Japan collected more than 400,000 signatures to support the cause.
The public came out very supportive of this ruling. This has pressured members of parliament, both ruling and opposition, work hard to make the timely legal change only 74 days after the ruling.
At the press conference immediately after the parliamentary action, Ms. Nagoya said that “I will go to the next election. I look forward to the next election”. The next election will be held for the House of Councillors, upper house, in July this year. With this legislative development, the voting rights of 136,000 people under the most restrictive “koken” category of the adult guardianship have been restored.
This revision is a victory not only for the disability rights movement in Japan but also for the global efforts for the implementation on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We say “thank you” to all the supporters at home and abroad, who have made this happen and look forward to our common journey ahead.