NHK has learned that companies sponsoring Japan's para-sports have reduced or suggested they would reduce financial support to organizations participating in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Many of the organizations participating in the Paralympics do not have sufficient financial resources. More than half of them count on sponsor money or government subsidies for over 80 percent of funds they need to train athletes and promote para-sports.
NHK recently surveyed all 26 para-sports organizations about sponsorships extended to them for the current fiscal year through March 2021.
Five of them, including para track-and-field, wheelchair basketball, and para-cycling, have faced cuts in sponsor money or have been asked to accept reductions. In one case, sponsorship deals were terminated.
The reason many of the sponsoring companies gave for reducing sponsor money was falling earnings due to business streamlining or shutdowns, mainly in travel and apparel retail firms, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
These para-sports organizations say their sponsorship income this year may decrease by 20,000 to 50,000 dollars.
A para-cycling organization says it has been told by one of the sponsoring companies that it intends to concentrate on sponsoring the Olympic Games.
Sports events provide public relations opportunities for sponsoring companies. But these events have been canceled, raising concern among para-sports organizations whether the present sponsorship deals will be maintained until next year's Paralympic Games.