Expanding of employment frames and efforts for increasing long-term employment of disabled in Japan


  • Naoya Hakumura GIFU University




disabled, legal level of employment, expansion of employment, long-term employment, support for disabled people


In recent years, the employment situation of people with disabilities in Japan has been changing rapidly in the light of global trends. This process is being followed by social and economic changes in the provision of “disability”. Currently, not only the disabled, but also women and foreign citizens are gradually opened the doors to work.

In this article, we analyze how employment of people with disabilities is being expanded from economic point of view and in what problems arise in this process in Japan. For this purpose, we would like to focus on two keywords, the first is the “expansion” of employment, and the second is the “long-term” employment.

Firstly, we describe the historical development of labor policy in relation to people with disabilities and, in this context, its current statement. The attention here is focused on the percentage of employment for people with disabilities, protected by law that regulates its rate for each company or organization. Companies that do not reach the necessary legal rate of employment are subjected to fines. In the recent past, the policy has been expanded with regard to the types of disabilities, employment rate of which it protects. As the law and its application system were created, indicators of employment of people with disabilities grew steadily.

However, this does not mean that there were no difficulties in this process. Among the various problems, one of the major ones is gradual reduction of the average employment term duration over the past few years. This indicator varies for different types of disability. Especially for people with intellectual disabilities, the average period of work decreases from year to year, and for people with mental illness the period of work is extremely short compared to other types of disabilities. Why does such difference occur? Of course, the characteristics of each disability type may affect the employment term. What happens to their work environment? In order to analyze this point, we reduced the results of questionnaire performed for representatives of enterprises (organizations) and employed people with disabilities (employees with mental illnesses in particular).

Based on this result, we approached the actual intentions of representatives of enterprises (organizations) and working people with disabilities, and added a sociological analysis. Lastly, we observed the method for support of people with disabilities that will be needed in the future.

Author Biography

Naoya Hakumura, GIFU University

  • GIFU University, Gifu, Japan
    • Associate Professor