Progress of Accessibility in Transportation in Japan Over the Last Three Decades: An Observation Through Three Case Studies

Pursuant to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Japan is taking various initiatives to realize an inclusive society. This paper discusses key factors in how transportation accessibility has evolved in Japan. The authors examined these initiatives through three major projects that were conducted decades apart—in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s—and were respectively awarded by the central government for their pioneering achievement in accessibility. The authors studied their process and achievement by visiting the sites and interviewing stakeholders. The Hankyu Itami Station Project rebuilt a railway station as part of the reconstruction effort following the Great Hanshin–Awaji Earthquake of 1995, and included disabled people and elderly people in the project committee. In the Fukuoka Nanakuma Line Project, the project team visited and listened to various disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) and invited them to project sites and demonstration tests. In the Sendai Tozai Line Project, the city transportation bureau sought to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities to the highest level as defined in national guidelines, in collaboration with DPOs. By examining and comparing the three projects, the authors show how accessibility in Japan has changed over time. Official guidelines are now instrumental in accumulating knowledge for responding to the needs of people with mobility impairments, and DPOs now play a specific role in refining existing designs rather than simply demanding their needs. Through this paper, the authors hope to shed light on accessibility initiatives in Japan to realize an environment as envisioned in the CRPD.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 23-36
  • Monograph Title: TRANSED 2018: 15th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Older Adults and People with Disabilities
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01738983
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: May 11 2020 12:15PM