Tokyo Paralympics Kick Off amid Virus Emergency

Sports Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Aug. 24 (Jiji Press)--The Tokyo Paralympic Games kicked off with a large-scale but subdued ceremony on Tuesday night, overshadowed by surging novel coronavirus infections that have overwhelmed hospitals in Japan.

The opening ceremony was held at the Japan National Stadium in central Tokyo from 8 p.m. (11 a.m. GMT), with no general spectators in the stands as a precaution against the coronavirus.

"I declare open the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games," Japanese Emperor Naruhito, who serves as honorary patron of the Tokyo Games, said in the ceremony.

During the Tokyo Paralympics, a coronavirus state of emergency will remain in place in Tokyo and three other prefectures hosting Paralympic venues due to an unabated increase in infection cases.

Like the Tokyo Olympics, which ended on Aug. 8, the Tokyo Paralympics, originally scheduled for 2020, were postponed for the first time in the history of the major sporting event for athletes with disabilities, due to the pandemic.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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