Photo/IllutrationFrom right, Momoka Muraoka, Paralympic flag-bearer, Satoru Sudo, captain, and Kuniko Obinata, head of the Japanese delegation, at a ceremony in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Feb. 26 (Toshiyuki Takeya)

Japanese Paralympians psyched themselves up for next week's kickoff at a ceremony in Tokyo on Feb. 26 and are hoping for just as much success as their Olympic counterparts.

“We would like to succeed by continuing the momentum of the Japanese Olympians who won a record 13 medals, and hope to make it a great event through winning many medals,” said Satoru Sudo, 47, the captain of the Paralympic team and ice hockey player.

Prince Fumihito and his wife, Princess Kiko, attended the event, held prior to the opening of the Pyeongchang Winter Paralympics on March 9.

“Please participate in the competition openly and squarely as a clean and fair athlete,” Kuniko Obinata, 45, head of the delegation, said in the ceremony.

It is the first time the Winter Paralympics will be held in Asia since the 1998 Nagano Paralympics.

Athletes will compete in 80 events in six sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, snowboarding and wheelchair curling.

Thirty-eight Japanese athletes will compete in five of the sports, being wheelchair curling exception.

This is almost double the 20 that competed at the previous 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics, so Japan is expected to top the six medals earned at those Games.