Denying suffrage to wards said ‘excessive’

Even though Japan’s adult guardianship system may be necessary to protect the assets of those who need additional attention due to their mental state, stripping them of their suffrage is an excessive infringement of rights that goes against international trends, experts said.

Thursday’s ruling that the Public Office Election Law takes away the voting rights of the disabled and the elderly with dementia is “unconstitutional” cast the spotlight on the fact Japan lags behind the global community in protecting the rights of those with certain disabilities.

The guardianship scheme was first introduced in 2000 to help people with cognitive disabilities manage their assets. It replaced a system dating from the Meiji Era that prevented those declared incompetent from having control over their own property and was often criticized as discriminatory because details of their disability was officially entered into the family registry.

Makoto Arai, a professor at Chuo University and president of the Japan Adult Guardianship Law Association, welcomed the ruling, but at the same time criticized the current system for being “behind the times.”

“Times have changed since the Meiji Era, when the old system was established, and (the adult guardianship system) was created with a new principle to respect the elderly and the disabled (to allow them) to make decisions by themselves and to create a society in which they can live normal lives,” Arai said.

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Denying suffrage to wards said ‘excessive’

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5 Responses to “Denying suffrage to wards said ‘excessive’”

  1. Karen Says:

    Sounds like Japan is having the same problems with guardianship that we are.

  2. Thelma Says:

    Once the perps find the money makers, they will deprive them of ALL rights, in order to keep them down.

  3. StandUp Says:

    I think greed is a global problem

  4. Thelma Says:

    There are three terms in guardianship – GUARD, CONSERVE, PROTECT – none of which are respec ted by those who are court-appointed to guard, conserve or protect. It's all one big grab bag and it has gone GLOBAL under control of the organized Bar.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The basic question is, do these Japanese people even belong in a guardianship? Most likely, the answer is "no," same as the USA.

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