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Japan to Review Shinkansen Bullet Train Accessibility

JR staff with Ramp in from of the accessible coach

Japan Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said a study group will be set up this month to consider how to make bullet trains more accessible to wheelchair users, reports The Japan Times.

The group will discuss ways to improve the booking system, seats for wheelchair users and other issues highlighted by Eiko Kimura, who has a severe disability and uses a wheelchair, a House of Councilors member of minor opposition party Reiwa Shinsengumi.

Space for one or two wheelchairs is available on each bullet train. Wheelchair users are requested to reserve them by phone or at JR counters at least two days before boarding, according to the JR.

Minister Akaba called the system “outrageous” at the committee meeting.

“Transport Ministry will work hard to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics an opportunity to turn Japan into an inclusive, barrier-free society” said Akaba.

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