The labor ministry held a seminar for the first time on Oct. 29 to educate other ministries and agencies about hiring people with disabilities following revelations the policy was widely abused at central government level for years.

It emerged earlier that 28 of 33 ministries and agencies padded their employment rates of disabled workers to meet statutory hiring quotas.

“We are hoping that you will be supporters of the disabled and promote their employment by taking back what you learned through this seminar to your workplace,” said Kenichi Hojo, chief of the ministry’s Employment Development Department, at the opening of the meeting.

The seminar was held to help the government meet its minimum obligation that people with disabilities represent 2.5 percent of its work force by the the end of next year. To achieve that goal, it must hire 4,000 or so people with disabilities.

About 580 government officials attended the seminar, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

A third-party panel investigating the government’s failure to hire disabled people at the mandated level found that about 3,700 employees were counted as disabled as of June 1 last year although they did not meet the conditions to be certified as having either a physical disability, intellectual disability or mental disability.

The seminar discussed mental illness, developmental impairment and how to communicate with people with disabilities.

An instructor handling the employment of people with disabilities at a government-run Hello Work job placement center underlined the importance of accommodating their needs and making sure they can see a doctor and take medication.