Following the resignation of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday (28 August), International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons issued the following statement.
“Firstly, personal health must be everyone’s number one priority and I wish Prime Minister Abe all the very best in his battle against ill health and wish him a swift and full recovery.
“Abe is Japan’s longest continuously serving Prime Minister and has always been a passionate supporter and advocate of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games from the bid phase right through to the present day.
“His commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been unwavering and few will forget his involvement at the Rio 2016 Olympic Closing Ceremony when he appeared dressed as Super Mario.
“What has impressed me the most during his tenure is his desire to use the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a catalyst to drive social inclusion in Japan. He saw the full potential of the Paralympics and initiated several programmes and pieces of legislation that will change Japan forever.
“Thanks to his commitment to the Paralympic Movement, millions of persons with disabilities can pursue their dreams as active members of Japanese society, fully harnessing their potential and capabilities. There can be no better legacy than transforming the lives of millions of people for the better and on behalf of the whole Paralympic Movement, I would like to thank Prime Minister Abe for his dedication and commitment.
“In the meantime, the IPC look forward to working with his successor once elected and will continue preparations apace to deliver truly memorable and lifechanging Paralympic Games in 2021.”