September 6 2021
TOKYO– While sports for the disabled are attracting huge attention thanks to the Tokyo Paralympics, ended Sunday, hurdles remain in Japan for people with disabilities to play sports.
“It is important to make efforts to broaden the base” of people with disabilities who play sports, an expert said.
According to a 2020 survey by the Japan Sports Agency, the proportion of people with disabilities who play sports at least once a week stood at 24.9 pct for adults, up from 18.2 pct in 2013, when Tokyo won its bid to host the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
But the share of disabled people aged 7 to 19 who routinely engage in sports fell to 27.9 pct in 2020 from 30.7 pct in 2013.
“There is a big hurdle to start para sports,” said Taku Saito, a prosthetist who makes artificial legs for Paralympic athletes.