Two Reiwa Shinsengumi candidates with disabilities win Upper House seats

The Japan Times 

Two candidates with severe disabilities belonging to the opposition group Reiwa Shinsengumi won seats in the Upper House election on Sunday, scoring an important victory for disabled people in a country where they have long been encouraged to stay in the shadows. In addition, the wins by Eiko Kimura, 54, and Yasuhiko Funago, 61, marked the first by candidates not belonging to a so-called political party since the open-list, proportional representation system was put in place in 2001, the Asahi newspaper said on its website. It is also a sign of society's changing attitudes toward such people. Reiwa Shinsengumi was set up in April, but it still does not have accreditation as a political party. Kimura, who has cerebral palsy, did not even know how to buy train tickets when she chose to move out of a facility for the disabled and live in a Tokyo suburb at age 19.