Kyodo News signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Paralympic Committee on Friday (22 January) to serve as the host national news agency for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Kyodo News President Masaki Fukuyama and IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez inked the MoU at the news agency's headquarters in Tokyo.
Kyodo is also the host national news agency for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It previously assumed that role at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, but 2020 marks the first time it will cover the Paralympics in this capacity.
"It's so important to have a partnership like this one with a news agency to be able to reach everybody in the country...to ensure that in the end we are all seen as people for what we are individually," Gonzalez said at the signing ceremony.
Gonzalez said his meetings earlier on Friday with Japan's minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Toshiaki Endo, and Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe left him with the impression the Paralympics are taken seriously in Japan.
Fukuyama expressed hope for Kyodo's work at the Games to be of use in fostering a society without barriers, "where not only in sport, but in daily life, the capabilities of people with disabilities are realised and appraised."
The agreement acknowledged Kyodo's key responsibility to provide comprehensive national news, sports and pictorial coverage of the games with a particular focus on Japan's Paralympic athletes.
Kyodo is also tasked with distributing the coverage widely to Japan's national media.
Founded in 1945, Kyodo provides news, video and photo services to most of Japan's newspapers, radio and TV networks, as well as to media outlets around the world.