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60 people with disabilities strive for top work skills marks at Japanese 'Abilympics'

A participant in "Abilympics Oita 2022" tries to keep their movements precise during the general building cleaning event, at Oita Tobu Kominkan community hall in the city of Oita on Oct. 1, 2022. (Mainichi/Fumito Tsushima)

OITA -- A vocational skills competition for people with disabilities was held here on Oct. 1, with some 60 people from within Oita Prefecture taking part to show off skills acquired through day-to-day work.

    The Abilympics Oita 2022, held at a community hall in the city of Oita, was the 22nd edition of the event organized by the Oita branch of the Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly, Persons with Disabilities and Job Seekers. Abilympics -- a portmanteau of "ability" and "Olympics" -- events are held across Japan to help people with disabilities improve their vocational skills and promote employment for them.

    Participants competed in 10 categories related to jobs ranging from cleanup work and customer service to clerical duties, and scores were based on their proficiency, efficiency and collaboration with other staff. In the general building cleaning category, competitors picked up trash and cleaned up the floors and desks in a mock-office to display their techniques, manners and attention to safety. Participants appeared to pay attention to moving smoothly and precisely amid the tense atmosphere.

    Harumi Takashima, 42, a competitor from the prefectural city of Nakatsu, commented, "I've prepared for this by being conscious when I cleaned up my room and at other times. I was nervous, but I could do it well. I think my efforts paid off."

    (Japanese original by Fumito Tsushima, Oita Bureau)

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