• Kyodo

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Japanese Paralympic Committee chairman Junichi Kawai has been appointed chief of the Japanese delegation for the Tokyo Paralympics, the committee said Wednesday.

Kawai, who is totally blind, won 21 medals including five golds in visually impaired swimming at six consecutive Summer Paralympics dating back to the 1992 Barcelona Games.

“As the delegation chief of the world’s first two-time host of the Summer Paralympics, I feel an enormous responsibility,” said Kawai, who assumed the post of JPC chairman on Jan. 1.

The 44-year-old said he intends “to make the most of my experience as an athlete, among my other distinctive traits” to bring out best performance from Japanese athletes.

Kawai, who has won the most Paralympic medals of any Japanese athlete, is the first Paralympian to lead a Japanese delegation at the Summer Games.

After retiring, Kawai became the first Japanese inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2016.