Japan's labor and welfare ministry has decided to raise the legally required ratio of disabled people among all employees in the private sector to 2.7 percent in approximately three years.
A ministry panel made the decision at a meeting held on Wednesday. The ministry says the step is aimed at securing more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Currently, a law obliges businesses to employ disabled people so that they make up at least 2.3 percent of their workforces.
The ratio will be raised in two stages to 2.5 percent in April 2024 and to 2.7 percent in July 2026.
The quota for state and local governments will be raised to 3 percent in 2026.
At the panel's meeting, groups representing disabled people called on the ministry to do more to help achieve the newly set quotas.
On the other hand, representatives from businesses expressed their concern that placing a priority only on attaining numerical targets could undermine workforce proficiency.
The ministry says the number of disabled people working at companies has been on an upward trend, topping 610,000 as of June last year. However, only 48 percent of businesses had achieved the legal quota.