Disability Japan Paralympics Tokyo 2020

Jiji Press interview with Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee

"Jiji Press  conducted a telephone interview with Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), about the current situation, challenges, and significance of the event."

Written with extracts from Jiji Press

April 10th 2019

Jiji Press  conducted a telephone interview with Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), about the current situation, challenges, and significance of the event.

What do you expect from Tokyo for the second time (2nd Paralympics held by Tokyo)?

I would like you to show us the blend of the traditional values of Japan, the spirit of hospitality and modern technology. I don’t think there is a better place to hold Tokyo for the second time.

To make the tournament a success. 

It must end by holding a festival for people with disabilities, and we must leave a long-lasting legacy. I expect that the recognition of disabled people in Japanese society will change. That will be one factor that will determine the tournament’s rating later.

How do you view current Japanese society?

There will also be cultural aspects, but I would like disabled people to be an active society. Shop, do school and work in the same way as other people. I think it is important to understand that people with disabilities can contribute to society and change their perceptions.

What will the Paralympic Games bring?

We believe that sports can change people’s awareness when they see players with disabilities competing at high levels. Knowing the potential of people with disabilities will help change Japanese society.

About insufficient rooms for disabled guests.

It is an issue facing in Tokyo. We will look for solutions with the organizing committee of the tournament, such as promoting renovations. I want this issue to be a chance. A new law (revised barrier-free law) has also been created. This can be a legacy that will last for more than 20 years. As for accessibility (convenience), things to be done by transportation, buildings, and sidewalks still remain.

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