The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is shocked and greatly saddened by the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday (8 July).
IPC President Andrew Parsons has issued the following statement.
“First I want to say on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee how sorry we are for Shinzo Abe’s family, his colleagues, the Japanese Paralympic Committee, all of those at Tokyo 2020 who worked with him, and the Japanese nation.
“It has shocked us to our core that something like this should happen in the 21st century, especially in Japan.
“Abe was instrumental in securing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He fully appreciated the opportunity that the Games would bring to Japan, not only in sport development but in long-lasting legacy.
“Abe was a wonderful friend and keen supporter of the Paralympic Movement. He was a visionary leader and I know he fully understood what the Paralympic Games could do for the population of persons with disabilities in Japan. That is why he fought so hard and was so engaged with the beat of the Games preparations.
“Although he was not Prime Minister at the time of the Games he played a vital role, and his work leaves an important legacy of social inclusion. Life for persons with disabilities in Japan has changed for the better because of the programmes and important pieces of legislation that came with these Paralympic Games.
“Abe helped us do that and now in Japan millions of persons with disabilities can pursue their dreams of being active members of society. He helped create a more inclusive and diverse Japan with the opportunity open to all to harness their full potential.
“On behalf of the IPC and the Paralympic Movement, we will forever be grateful to the people of Japan for delivering the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the most demanding of circumstances. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”