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

As well as a presentation and Q&A (18:30-19:30) this event will be followed by the chance to network in three breakout networking rooms, each led by a Paralympic athlete. Further details coming soon!

About this Event

The Paralympic Games often improves accessibility for people with an impairment in the country where the event is being hosted. The Games are also an excellent way to raise awareness, and this was particularly true in 1964, when problems faced by people with an impairment in Japan often went unseen. 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 ageing society has led to a demographic shift. Leaders and citizens alike have come to realise 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.

On August 23 we will be joined by Dr. Mark Bookman, 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% of the world’s population. And if you believe there is a correlation between ageing and impairment, then that number is actually closer to 100% 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.

About the Speaker

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:


Registration is required. Please register below:

Link to the event is sent once the regsitration is submitted.

About the Paralliance

This joint alliance of 20 international chambers of commerce in Japan – The Paralliance – was created in 2020, 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.

Support Japan’s delivery of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, fostering a legacy of more inclusive communities and embracing opportunities for international business and exchange.

Participating Chambers of Commerce will collectively support the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Committee in its delivery of an outstanding and popular games.

This is an opportunity for all of us to recognise our mission and commit to our pledge –
Join the Paralliance’s second event on the evening of Monday, August 23!

Members of the Paralliance are:

  • American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Australia/New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Austrian Business Council
  • Belgian-Luxemborg Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • CCI France Japon
  • Danish Chamber of Commerce and Industry Japan
  • German Chamber of Commerce and Industry Japan
  • Greek Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Icelandic Chamber of Commerce Japan
  • Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce
  • Italian Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • South African Chamber of Commerce Japan
  • Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan
  • Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry Japan

Event Details

  • Aug 23rd 2021
  • 18:30 ~ 19:30
  • Online
  • Free