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Translational Studies for Inclusive Society
"Fundamental Research on Inclusion/Exclusion and Developments Surrounding Minorities and People with Disabilities"

Writer: WATANABE, Katsunori (Kinugasa Research Organization, Eminent Associate Professor)   terms: 2015 8

Connecting <study=practice> and fundamental research

The fundamental research team activity has been positioned at the tail of the three activities, creating proactive support, promoting escorted support, and developing restorative support to realize an inclusive society, and is engaged in theoretical and fundamental research concerning social inclusion and support (see Mitsuyuki Inaba and Yoshiyuki Koizumi in Studies for Inclusive Society Vol. 4). Our research tends to be one of “study” conducted for the most part only within university research institutions, a “closed” activity of poring over data and academic writings in laboratories. This introspective, steady undertaking is, of course, the strength of “study”, but especially when it comes to research topics concerning “support”, methods of implementation that form a connection to domains positioned as “practice” (various types of institutions, facilities, professions, families, citizens, local communities, etc.) must also be addressed. While working alongside the three teams creating, promoting and developing support, as a project to facilitate a connection to “practice” we have also engaged in shaping discussion in an open forum in which the general public can participate.
The fundamental research team has collaborated with the Research Center for Ars Vivendi in staging several public research meetings. Here, I introduce two projects: policy developments of those who requires escorted care as minorities or people with disabilities, and research on legal intervention in response to inclusion/exclusion.

Inclusion/exclusion concerning support for people with disabilities

Seminars on Systems/Policies concerning Survival "Disability/Society" No.2 The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Development of Acts in Japan.  Currently, the legal system concerning people with disabilities is undergoing major changes in Japan. In terms of inclusion/exclusion, an “Act on the Elimination of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities” (Act No. 65 of 2013) has been enacted. In the process of establishing this law concerning the exclusion of people with disabilities, in the Council for Disability Policy Reform and the working groups various organizations were involved in the definition of discrimination as the exclusion action and policies for the elimination of discrimination.
Considering trend about the inclusion/exclusion of people with disabilities, we find international movements upon which these laws are being premised: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We are proceeding with the construction of a research system that brings in organizations from East Asian countries such as China and South Korea. Organizations run by people with disabilities or illnesses themselves are also involved in this process. We hold public seminars where we form connections between fundamental research and citizens/local communities while sharing the results achieved and current issues being addressed by domestic and international organizations.

Inclusion/expulsion regarding race, ethnicity, and migrant workers

 As another branch of fundamental research concerning inclusion/exclusion, we are also addressing issues of discrimination surrounding so-called “Gaikoku-jin [foreigners]”: race, ethnicity, and migrant workers. Regarding inclusion/exclusion of foreigners, various domestic and international initiatives, such as the “International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,” have already been undertaken. Nevertheless, in the news we can find some problems of them.
Amidst these trends, we have been focused on what are referred to “hate crimes” and “hate speech” as a problem of discrimination. Especially when it comes to hate speech conducted in the street or other public place, whether legal intervention based on identifying ambiguity of harms and/or victims. On the view of inclusion/exclusion concerning these discriminatory phenomena, I think it the role of fundamental research to examine inclusion/exclusion in forms other than restorative support.

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