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Seated Hoops Star: Kōzai Hiroaki Leads Japan’s Wheelchair Basketball ChargeYoshii Taeko

Wheelchair basketball player Kōzai Hiroaki was a college star at the University of Illinois before going pro in Japan and Germany. He now looks to help bring team Japan its first Paralympic medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

LGBT Acceptance Spreads from Shibuya

In November 2015, Tokyo municipalities Shibuya and Setagaya began issuing domestic partnership certificates to same-sex couples, instigating a process of greater acceptance of LGBT persons in Japan.

Kawamura Ryō: Leading Japan to Gold in Blind SoccerYoshii Taeko

Blind soccer is a demanding sport requiring speed, dexterity, and the ability to follow sound clues indicating the position of the ball and other players on the pitch. With the Tokyo Paralympics on the horizon, Japanese national team captain Kawamura Ryō says the squad is working hard to raise its game to the next level.

Kaneki Emi: Sitting Volleyball Playmaker Is Ambassador for the SportYoshii Taeko

Japanese national team member Kaneki Emi was 18 when she developed osteosarcoma, which left her with a disability. As part of her rehabilitation, she encountered sitting volleyball and found that she really enjoyed it. Getting ready to face strong teams from the United States, China, and other countries, Kaneki is fired up and hopes to do well with her team at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Tani Mami: Iron Paralympian with a Heart of GoldYoshii Taeko

Tani Mami lost her right leg to osteosarcoma during college. She has since competed in three Paralympic Games with a prosthetic limb in the long jump. Now married and with a son, she is busy training for the 2020 Games in Tokyo in the much more physically demanding paratriathlon.

Alpine Skier Muraoka Momoka Wins First Paralympic Gold for Japan in Pyeonchang (Japan in Photos)

Muraoka Momoka shows off her gold medal for giant slalom at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang on March 15, 2018. As well as securing Japan’s first gold at the games, she has won a silver and two bronze medals in other alpine skiing events. (© Jiji)

Checkered Pattern Characters Picked as 2020 Games Mascots

Tokyo, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)—The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics said Wednesday that the characters with traditional kumi ichimatsumon checkered patterns were chosen as mascots for the quadrennial sporting events. The characters, chosen from three pairs of candidates, topped ballots at Japanese elementary schools with 109,041 votes. Each class had one vote. …

Nagashima Osamu: Shuttling Between Badminton and R&DYoshii Taeko

Badminton will become an official Paralympic sport at the 2020 Tokyo Games. While working as a researcher of stain-resistant technology at Lixil, a leading maker of sanitary ware and other home products, Nagashima Osamu is also busily preparing for the 2020 Games as one of the world’s highest-ranked para-badminton players.

Abe Signals Intent to Skip Pyeongchang Olympics (News)

Sofia, Jan. 15 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō on Monday signaled he does not plan to attend the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea next month, citing budget deliberations at an upcoming session of the Diet, Japan's parliament. "I'll consider it, while looking at the schedule of the Diet," which will start an ordinary session later this month, Abe told reporters in Sofia, Bulga…

Japan to Boost Quake-Linked Info for Foreigners in Tokyo Games

Rio de Janeiro, Jan. 8 (Jiji Press)—Japan will strengthen efforts to disseminate information on its anti-earthquake measures in multiple languages for visitors from abroad during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Suzuki Shun'ichi, minister in charge of the Tokyo Games, said Monday. Japan has already run simulations and designated evacuation locations in preparation for possible earthquak…

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