Inclusion and Diversity in View of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 to Provide Opportunities in Japan

After Rio 2016 all eyes will turn to Tokyo and the pressure to host an amazing Olympic and Paralympic Games will increase.

With this in mind, the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) in association with the British Council and GSK Japan ran a seminar to educate attendees on various ways to support the Paralympics and people with disabilities in the run up to 2020 and beyond.

The 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from 25 August through to 8 September. Tokyo will become the first city in Asia to host the Paralympics for the second time.

Yasushi Yamawaki, Governing Board Member of the International Paralympic Committee, Director of Japanese Para-Sports Association, President of the Japanese Paralympic Committee, and Director of the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre, made the opening remarks.

He praised the “courage, determination and inspiration” and the message that Paralympians embody.

UK Companies With Experience of London 2012 Can Find Great Opportunities to Do Business in Japan

“London 2012 proved to be a good role model and can help Tokyo 2020 achieve success,” he said. This is a huge selling point for UK companies that were involved in delivering the Games in 2012, can use to win contracts in Japan.

Japan is slowly but surely moving towards inclusion and diversity, and this changing mindset will help to create an improved, barrier-free design of the city.

Changing Society and Perceptions in Japan

The Paralympics as an event has the power to change society for the better, and the ultimate goal is to change perceptions towards people with disabilities.

A panel discussion moderated by Suzanne Price, Representative Director of Price Global followed Mr. Yamawaki’s address.

The panel was comprised of Paralympic athlete Rina Akiyama, a Gold medal winner at London 2012, Hisano Tezuka, a snowboarder who has competed internationally and at several Deaflympic events, ice sledge hockey player Daisuke Uehara, who took home Silver at the Vancouver Paralympics, and Manami Yuasa, Head of Arts at the British Council Japan. The athletes are all currently employees of GSK Japan, leading by example in inclusion and diversity.

The panelists weighed in on issues surrounding the perceptions of disability in Japan and around the world, and made suggestions for improvement from attitudes to facilities and infrastructure.

UK companies, with solid experience gained during London 2012, can get involved in these conversations at the outset and find opportunities to win business in Japan in the run up to Tokyo 2020, especially in the areas of consulting, design, planning and legacy.

Want to do business in Japan? Contact one of our market experts here to start your export journey today.

Catch up with the rest of our valuable global sporting events content, including our Economic Legacy reportGlobal Sporting Events in Japan reportOpportunities in Japan’s Global Sports Business webinar videoTokyo 2020 Olympic Opportunities webinar video and Highlights and Opportunities for Tokyo 2020 webinar video.

Article by Vanessa Holden, April 2016.