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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics—One Day to Go! The Impact of the Tokyo Paralympics in 1964 and 2021

23 August, 2021 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm JST

The Paralympics are coming to Tokyo! Join us for this special event co-hosted by the Paralliance – a coalition of 20 international chambers of commerce in Japan.

The Paralympics often improve accessibility for people with an impairment in the country where the Games are hosted. In fact, the Games are an excellent way to raise awareness about such people, as well as the ways in which they can lead productive and happy lives. This was particularly true in 1964 when problems faced by people with an impairment in Japan often went unseen. Indeed, the 1964 Paralympics, supported very visibly by then-Crown Prince Akihito and Crown Princess Michiko, put a whole new level of capability and way of life on display—not only for the Japanese athletes and their families and friends but for all of Japanese society.
In the 21st century, our definition of impairment has significantly broadened as Japan’s rapidly aging society has led to a demographic shift. Leaders and citizens alike have come to realize that the needs and goals of individuals with a physical impairment often align with those of the elderly. Accordingly, they have started to leverage available knowledge, tools, and resources that will enable them to lead full and enjoyable lives.
Join Dr. Mark Bookman, a historian of disability in Japanese and global contexts at the University of Tokyo. He will use the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which will take place August 24–September 5, and the 1964 Paralympics as case studies to explain how activists and legislation have both failed and succeeded to point a way forward for people with an impairment, who, according to the United Nations, make up 15 percent of the world’s population. And if you believe there is a correlation between aging and impairment, then that number is actually closer to 100 percent of those who make it into their golden years. Indeed, with old age on the horizon, the day may come when you also need improved access.

Event Details

Date: Monday, 23 August 2021
Place: Webex Online Meetings (Instructions for joining the virtual meeting will be sent to registered attendees after the below-stated deadline.)
Time: 18:30–19:30; optional networking 19:30–20:00 JST
Language: English
Speaker: Dr Mark Bookman, historian of disability in Japanese and global contexts
Registration Deadline: Monday, August 23 2021, 12:00pm
Price: Free (SpCCJ Members will be prioritized)

Are you not an SpCCJ member yet? Find out more about the membership category and benefits on our website and contact us at info@spanishchamber.or.jp. Memberships available from JPY10,000/year.

Mark Bookman is a historian of disability in Japanese and global contexts based at the University of Tokyo. He holds PhD and master of arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor of arts from Villanova University. Bookman’s research has been supported by various grants and awards, including a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship to Japan and a Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship. His scholarship on disability inclusion can be found in Japan Focus: The Asia-Pacific Journal and other peer-reviewed journals, as well as public-facing media outlets such as The Japan Times and Japan Today.
Outside of the academy, Bookman also works as an accessibility consultant. He has collaborated with government agencies and corporate entities in Japan, the United States, and Canada—as well as the International Paralympic Committee and the United Nations—on projects related to inclusive education, equitable transportation, and disaster risk management for diverse populations with impairments.
For additional information about Mark Bookman, see his website: www.bookmanresearch.com

This joint alliance of 20 international chambers of commerce in Japan was created to support the success of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Paralympics are a global celebration of diversity and inclusion, sporting achievement, and personal endeavour.