A shortage of wheelchair-accessible hotel rooms remains an issue for Tokyo 2020 organizers, who say they are committed to using the Paralympic Games to make Japan a more inclusive place.
As the clock ticks down to the Aug. 25, 2020, opening ceremony for the Paralympics, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government admits that by its own estimations it is still about 300 rooms short of the projected 850 accessible rooms needed each night of the event.
“We ’re nowhere near the number. There’s no denying that we’re behind schedule,” said a representative of a disability organization.
Adding to organizers’ worries were media reports in April that British Paralympic officials were told that hotels in Yokohama near the team’s training camp would charge extra to make rooms accessible and demanded further payment to convert the rooms back after the games. The city’s authorities eventually agreed to pay for the accessibility modifications from a special fund.
International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons said he saw access improvements among existing facilities on his visit to Tokyo in May.
“Everyone knows we have the issue of accessibility when it comes to hotel rooms in Japan …. But we are working with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we are working with Tokyo 2020,” he said. (Kyodo)