Photo/IllutrationWheelchair tennis player Yui Kamiji, foreground, the flag bearer of Japan's Paralympic delegation, and wheelchair basketball player Reo Fujimoto, the captain of the Japanese team, after a send-off ceremony in Tokyo on Aug. 2 (Yusaku Kanagawa)

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Japan’s Paralympic team members paid their respects to the 19 victims of the recent massacre at a care home for disabled people while vowing to win 10 gold medals in the Rio Games.

The 127 athletes and 98 officials in the Japanese delegation held a moment of silence for the victims of the July 26 attack during a departure ceremony in Tokyo on Aug. 2.

The attack at the care home in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, also left 26 disabled people injured.

The team members pledged to do their best to promote a society where people with disabilities can live side by side with able-bodied people.

“For more than half a century, we’ve been promoting self-reliance of disabled people and their social participation through sports activities,” said Mitsunori Torihara, chairman of the Japanese Paralympic Committee, in his speech. “We can never forgive the atrocious incident that occurred."

Team captain Reo Fujimoto, 32, who is making his fourth Paralympic appearance in Rio as a wheelchair basketball player, said, “(The incident) made me feel strongly that I still have many things to tell to people as an athlete and that I have my own role to play as a Paralympian.”

Yui Kamiji, the flag bearer of the delegation, also shared her thoughts.

“I was lost for words when I learned of the incident,” said the 22-year-old wheelchair tennis player. “I became painfully aware that we have yet to convey how wonderful are the sporting events that disabled people are involved in.”

Swimming, track and field and table tennis events feature not only physically disabled athletes but also those who are intellectually impaired.

“I feel down whenever I see the news related to the attack,” said Yoshie Miyazaki, 55, mother of Satoru, a 23-year-old intellectually impaired swimmer.

“I will be happy if the Paralympics will be able to show that disabled people like my son are doing their best.”