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NHK to recruit disabled casters, reporters ahead of 2020 Paralympics

The NHK Broadcasting Center in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. (Mainichi)

Public broadcaster NHK will hire disabled casters and reporters from among the general public to cover sports events for the disabled ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, it has been learned.

The move, the first of its kind for the broadcaster, is aimed at adding lively elements to reports on disabled athletes by having handicapped casters and reporters cover events in light of their own experiences.

According to NHK, those who hold a certificate for the disabled, or have been recognized as disabled persons by doctors, or have doctor's certificates or written opinions by other experts about their disability characteristics, will be eligible to apply for the positions, among other conditions.

Applicants need not necessarily have experience in athletic competitions. The contract for the positions will be limited to one year, but could be extended depending on the circumstances. Consideration is being given to the possibility of having disabled casters and reporters appear in NHK programs related to the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics in South Korea.

"Ultimately, we would like them to play an active role in the Tokyo Paralympics," said NHK President Ryoichi Ueda.

Applications will be accepted via NHK's website and through other means from June 22 through July 21. A written exam and an interview will be held by September, and the results will be announced in October.

The number of openings has yet to be decided, according to NHK.

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