Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. AFP

Media outlets have reported that several ministries in Japan may have been inflating the number of physically challenged people they employ in order to meet quotas.

This is happening even as the government imposes levies on private companies that fail to meet theirs.

Advertise With Us

Reports say revelations of any falsification by ministries could undermine public trust in Japan, where manufacturers are already reeling from a string of data-tampering scandals.

Since 1976, the public and private sectors have been told to employ a certain percentage of the physically challenged, as part of efforts to provide employment and stamp out discrimination.

It was also gathered that several government agencies may have been overstating their numbers since the quotas were introduced, reporting that in June, Government agencies had its physically challenged employees at a total percentage of about 2.5 per cent of their workforces — above the 2.3 per cent target — but the real number might be less than half that, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper said.

Under quotas revised this year, physically challenged people are expected to make up 2.5 per cent of employees at state agencies and 2.2 per cent in the private sector.

The National Conference to Support the Life and Right of Disabled Persons activist group said the government owed the public a “thorough investigation and urgent fix” if the reports were true.

“This requirement has been in place for decades, and the fact that government agencies may have been fabricating the numbers is simply beyond belief,” said Hitoshi Shirasawa, a senior official at the activist group.

The labour and welfare ministry confirmed the request for a recheck of all 34 government ministries and agencies.