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Finance ministry, tax agency deleted discriminatory job requirements following protest

Finance Minister Taro Aso (Mainichi/Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO -- The Ministry of Finance and the National Tax Agency deleted from their websites job requirements for people with disabilities applying for part-time positions at those bodies after a group of disabled persons lodged a protest saying the requirements were discriminatory, it has been announced.

Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso made the disclosure during a press conference following a Cabinet meeting on Oct. 26.

"I would have to say the Finance Ministry and the National Tax Agency lacked awareness about employment of people with disabilities and their responses were sloppy. We would like to take steps to prevent a recurrence," Aso told the news conference.

According to the revelation, the Finance Ministry and the National Tax Agency posted the job requirements in question on their websites in mid-October and mid-September, respectively, to publicly solicit part-time administrative assistants from among disabled persons. The requirements stated that the applicants must be "able to commute on their own" and "be capable of carrying out their jobs without caregivers."

On Oct. 22, a group of people with disabilities pointed out that the requirements are discriminatory as they "exclude certain individuals with disabilities." In response, the two government bodies deleted the entry conditions from their websites two days later.

The Finance Ministry has attached such conditions for applicants with disabilities for part-time positions since around 2012, and the National Tax Agency, an external bureau of the Finance Ministry, had followed suit since 2016.

The revelation comes on the heels of the highly publicized scandal in which central government ministries and agencies were found to have padded the number of disabled people they employ. The National Tax Agency had inflated the number of disabled staff by 1,103, the highest among all central government bodies, while the figure for the Finance Ministry was 184. The latest incident indicates that the two organizations had continued to post discriminatory job requirements online even after the scandal came to the surface.

(Japanese original by Daisuke Oka, Business News Department)

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