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I Welcome Prosthetic & Orthotic Professionals to Their World Meet in Kobe [2019/10/10]

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Addressing the opening session of the 17th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) in Kobe on October 5, 2019.

My speech is available HERE



I went to Kobe last weekend to attend the 17th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO). The four-day meeting, starting on October 5, brought together an estimated 5,000 professionals from some 90 countries primarily involved in the care of persons in need of prosthetic, orthotic, mobility, and assistive devices.


In my address to the opening session of ISPO’s first biennial meeting held in this country in 30 years, I said it was timely indeed that the congress was taking place in Japan, given that there is just a year to go until the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.


I am confident that the incredible performances of the Paralympians who are using Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O) would move the hearts of all in astonishment and amazement,” I said, adding: “This will be a wonderful and empowering moment to unlock the unlimited potential of people with disabilities. It is every single one of you here, who are supporting all these Paralympians.”


The Nippon Foundation has supported persons with disabilities for more than 50 years. From the early 1990s, our efforts focused on Southeast Asia, where many people have lost limbs after coming into contact with landmines used in internal conflicts.


Recognizing a strong need to educate P&O professionals locally, The Nippon Foundation supported the establishment of schools in six countries−Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar.

In total, we have provided P&Os to over 500,000 people with our donations exceeding US$60 million.


I promised the audience in Kobe that The Nippon Foundation will continue supporting people with disabilities to be fully integrated into society. 


While in the western Japanese port city, I also talked with Professor Friedbert Kohler, president of ISPO, and other dignitaries as well as representatives of the schools set up to educate P&O professionals that The Nippon Foundation supported in the six Southeast Asian countries. In addition, I inspected the state-of-the-art P&O devices on display at the conference hall.




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An estimated 5,000 delegates from all over the world gathered for the congress, the first time it had been held in Japan for 30 years. 



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With Professor Friedbert Kohler, president of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO), in Kobe on October 5, 2019.

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With representatives of schools to educate P&O professionals, which The Nippon Foundation supported in six Southeast Asian countries, in Kobe on October 5, 2019.

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