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Japanese athletes take part in Pyeongchang Paralympic welcome ceremony

Japanese Paralympic athletes smile during a commemorative photo session with other participants, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on March 6, 2018. (Mainichi)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- With just a few days left until the start of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics on March 9, the Japanese delegation was welcomed into the Paralympic Village here on March 6.

    A total of 25 Japanese Paralympic athletes took part in the welcome ceremony, including team captain and ice hockey player Satoru Sudo.

    The Japanese delegation entered the village together with those of Mexico, Chile and Belarus, while their national flags were being raised. They were welcomed with a rendition of the Korean folk song "Arirang" by dancers with prosthetic legs or one leg. Later, the participants all danced as well.

    Kuniko Obinata, head of the Japanese delegation, expressed gratitude for the ceremony, saying, "I'm pleased we were welcomed so warmly," while Sudo commented, "I'm relieved the ceremony finished without any issues."

    The 2018 Winter Paralympics will kick off on March 9, and finish on March 18. There will be 80 events in six different sports, with 38 Japanese athletes taking part in five of the sports, excluding wheelchair curling.

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