Japan

Tokyo to Host 2020 Paralympic Games  

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Along with hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo, the largest city in the world, is gearing up to host the 2020 Paralympic Games. While hosting such a huge event can prove to be a challenge, the country of Japan has had plenty of experience. In 1964, Tokyo, the capital city that is home to over 38 million residents, hosted the Summer Olympic Games. In 1972, the Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo, the country’s fifth largest city, with Nagano hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics. Japan has also twice previously hosted the Paralympics.

High Hopes for Tokyo

Img source: jw-webmagazine.com

In hosting the Olympics, Japan hopes to show the world that they are a safe and innovative city, along with showcasing their culture and technology. It is yet to be determined if Japan has budgeted enough money for hosting the Olympics and the Paralympics. An expensive venture, other countries, including Brazil and Russia, went into debt after overspending. To date, Japan has budgeted about 801 billion yen, which equals $7 billion and is seven times more than what the country had originally budgeted.

According to the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, ticket prices for both events range from $18 to $2,700, with the average price for a general admission ticket costing $72. Tickets for the opening ceremony will be sold for $2,700. For kids, seniors, and those with disabilities, ticket prices are set at $18. The Olympic committee hopes to sell 7.8 million tickets, which would be a record number.

The Paralympics

Img source: london-athletics.com

Since 1992, the Olympics and Paralympics have always been hosted in the same city. However, it wasn’t until 2012, that the host city became formally obliged to do so. While there have been variations of those with disabilities participating in organized sporting events, the first official Paralympic Games took place in Rome, Italy in 1960. Over 400 athletes competed from 23 countries. It wasn’t until 1989, however, that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was founded. Like the Olympics, the Paralympics takes place every four years.

The upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo will feature nearly 4,400 athletes. These athletes have either a physical, mental, or sensorial disability, and includes those in wheelchairs, severe visual impairments, and amputees. Paralympic athletes will be competing in 537 medal events, which include amputee football, power wheelchair hockey, para-taekwondo, power wheelchair football, wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball, and basketball for the intellectually impaired.

Osaka, Japan Hit By 6.1-magnitude Quake – At Least Three Dead

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Osaka, Japan was hit by a strong earthquake on Monday morning. It caused devastation, knocking down walls while reports of a few scattered fires have been received. Unfortunately, three people have died with dozens injured.

It was confirmed by Osaka prefecture government’s disaster management department that two people were found dead. The third victim was reported by Ibaraki city official. According to Fire and Disaster Management Agency, in Osaka and neighboring prefectures Kyoto and Hyogo, more than 90 people were treated for injuries.

Source:nypost.com

A 9-year-old girl was one of the victims as she was knocked down by a concrete wall while she was walking by her elementary school. In Osaka city, a concrete wall collapsed on a man in his 80s. Ibaraki city officials said that the third victim was an 84-year-old man that was struck by a bookshelf in his home. The quake that hit Osaka caused electricity shortages, one of the major hospitals was also without electricity, but it was soon restored. Electricity was restored in residential and business areas by midafternoon in most areas.

Japan Meteorological Agency reported that they registered the 6.1-magnitude earthquake at about 8 a.m. and that it hit north of Osaka. This one was at approximately 8 miles or 13 km depth. The hardest hit was to the north of Osaka, but it was felt all over western Japan, even in Kyoto.

Source:sfgate.com

Walls were knocked over, windows broke, and it caused fires all over the area. Goods in shops were scattered on the floors and bookshelves in many homes fell off. At several locations, roads were destroyed, and water pipes broke causing some areas not to have water.

Public transport was crippled, and more than a few flights to and from Osaka were canceled. Due to possible damage to train and subway rails, many departures were canceled but were resumed in some areas in the afternoon. This was also the case with the bullet train, and reports say that people were exiting trains between stations.

As you already know, Japan is often hit by earthquakes. Most of those are not that strong, but unfortunately, from time to time it causes a lot of destruction. This one reminded many people of Hanshin-Kobe earthquake that was measured at 7.3 magnitude and killed more than 6,000 in 1995. In the last few weeks, Tokyo and that area were hit by a few small quakes.

The latest earthquake reminded Jun Kawasaki, a 30-year-old lawyer, of the Kobe that happened 23 years ago. This caused him to start packing immediately and be ready to run away.

He gave a statement for Associated Press from Osaka saying that “It was not as bad as the Kobe quake.” He continued by adding that his girlfriend hid under the table and since elevators were out of order he had to use stairs. “I used the stairs but I was out of breath by the time I arrived at my office on the 20th floor.”

Source: abcnews.go.com