Chairperson / Katsunori Fujii / Japan

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 Katsunori Fujii is the Executive Director of the KYOSAREN, Japan Association of Community Workshops for People with Disabilities.

He started his career in the disability field as a teacher at a special school for children with physical disabilities run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. From the mid- 1970s, he participated in the establishment of sheltered workshops for people with severe disabilities and took a key role to set up a network of such sheltered workshops in 1977, which later became KYOSAREN, and today there are around 2,000 member organizations nationwide. He also opened a first sheltered workshop for people with psychiatric disabilities in Japan in 1970s.

He was appointed as the Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Japan Disability Forum which was established in 2004 as a network of major disability organizations of Japan. JDF is working as a counterpart of the Government in the promotion of the rights of people with disabilities, and in creating disability related policies.

He was honoured as one of ten Asia-Pacific Champions of Disability Rights for the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 2013-2022 by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.