Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
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Policy Bureau
General Principles of Universal Design Policy
II.Basic concept of the general principles of universal design policy

2.Integrating barrier free policies

  Past barrier free measures have achieved some degree of success, but beginning with both physical measures and organizational measures, information barriers and psychological barriers remain. Barrier free measures are one of the most important policies among policies based on the concept of universal design, and in the future, integrated barrier free measures must be completed and strengthened. It will be important to take measures considering a diverse range of users based upon the most recent trend in measures for handicapped people: providing them with greater independence and ability to participate in society.

(1) Continuous removal of barriers for uninterrupted movement by users
    When removing barriers, it is important to remove them continually to support uninterrupted movement from the perspective of users.
  Therefore, a comprehensive perspective is necessary, and basic concepts and plans for the removal of barriers must be enacted through harmony and cooperation of a wide range of concerned parties from the perspective of overall urban renewal.
(2)  Expansion of target areas
    The target areas must be made as broad as possible, by including transportation services, public facilities, and other public spaces (for example, taxis and other individual transportation services, schools and similar public facilities, etc.).
(3)  Expanding non-physical measures
    Removal of barriers must not be limited to physical measures, but include non-physical measures such as greater personal service and the provision of suitable information to users to be implemented as comprehensive measures that integrate physical and non-physical measures.
It is important to carry out activities to increase public awareness and to train personnel to meet the need for elimination of psychological barriers: an achievement requiring that every citizen view the difficulties faced by the elderly, handicapped people, and families with children as their own problems and cooperate actively to ensure that such disadvantaged people can participate fully in society.
(4)   Encouragement of responsive and flexible measures to achieve steady implementation
     Spatial and physical restrictions etc. have resulted in insufficient removal of barriers from existing facilities. The continued use of facilities where adequate barrier-free measures have not been taken is a factor slowing the removal of all barriers from society, requiring that knowledge be applied and innovations introduced to achieve further progress in the removal of barriers from such existing facilities.
 To do so, it is necessary to make necessary improvements and to study flexible and rational improvements according to the size of each facility and the way it is used.

  An effective approach is to improve the overall level by sharing and disseminating knowledge and experience gained from past model measures and cases of successful measures. Accordingly, model measures applied to pioneering projects must be effectively supported at the same time as market mechanisms are applied to spread the application of universal design. It is also vital to consider the characteristics of each region.
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