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Upper house gets barrier-free renovation for lawmakers with disabilities

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Seats are removed in the main conference hall of the House of Councillors in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, to make room for large wheelchairs used by two newly elected upper house members.

The Yomiuri ShimbunEfforts to make the House of Councillors barrier-free are speeding up for the sake of lawmakers with disabilities who won seats in the recent upper house election, ahead of an extraordinary Diet session scheduled to convene on Aug. 1.

The lawmakers are Yasuhiko Funago, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Eiko Kimura, who has a severe disability. Both are members of the political party Reiwa Shinsengumi, winning their elections for the first time.

Renovation work in the main conference hall was conducted on Sunday. In order for the two lawmakers to be able attend Diet sessions in their large wheelchairs, the three rearmost seats near the entrance were removed to secure enough space. Electric power sources will be installed to facilitate the use of medical devices and laptops.

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