Tokyo Paralympics Notebook - Day 8

Yuki Goto

Reporter Yuki Goto (right) was used as a model for NHK's sign-language sports commentator for the Tokyo Games. On the left is her computer generated image.

Photo credit: Pool | NHK

What you need to know:

  • The Paralympic Games are being broadcast for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa, now reaching 49 countries on the continent.
  • The Games’s opening ceremony on YouTube was watched by 8.1 million viewers, which was quite impressive considering that in Rio 2016 entire Games video content was viewed by 8.5 million people.

Computer generated sign language interpreters take over TV screens

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We are accustomed to seeing David Agondoa and Flora Atieno on our screens as the sign language interpreters.

Well, the Japanese often use Computer Graphics (CG) to offer translations. But lately, NHK TV has unveiled computer generated sign language translators that resemble real humans.

NHK recently unveiled a computer generated version of famous TV reporter Yuki Goto that is used in sports broadcasts to, among other things, read team line-ups in sign language.

Goto, who has a hearing impairment, agreed to have her likeness used in the project by NHK which was unveiled during the Olympic and Paralympic Games broadcasts.

“I’d seen CG sign language before, and it didn’t look natural,” Goto, 25, who has a hearing impairment, told The Japan Times ahead of the Paralympics. “It wasn’t human, it was a little choppy.

Then (NHK) scanned me and put together a sample, and I thought it was amazing. Speaking as someone with a hearing impairment, it’s a huge step forward.”

Level of honesty, good manners among the Japanese adorable

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The level of honesty and good manners in Japan is at another level and makes one eager to spend more time in this beautiful country.

The other day, in the hurry to beat deadlines, I forgot my camera tripod at the rowing venue at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway.

Fortunately, I had the contact of Emiko Takahashi, one of the venue’s media centre managers. I dropped her mail and she assured me: “I will find it and get it back to you. Don't worry, this is Japan.”

And indeed, two days later, she sent me an email saying she had found it and would keep it safely for me, going further and offering to drop it wherever I will be.

A friend, who has lived in Japan for over 30 years, tells me you can recover your lost cash which anyone collecting it would instinctively surrender at the nearest police station.

Huge TV viewership, impressive figure all-round from Tokyo Paralympics

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The Paralympic Games are being broadcast for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa, now reaching 49 countries on the continent.

The Games’s opening ceremony on YouTube was watched by 8.1 million viewers, which was quite impressive considering that in Rio 2016 entire Games video content was viewed by 8.5 million people.

Also, there haven’t been any anti-doping violations yet with approximately 1,750 doping control samples scrutinised. On Covid-19, Games spokesman Takaya Masa said yesterday: “The number of total airport tests is now nearly 54,000 tests already conducted from the beginning of July until 29th of August. There were 54 cases found to be positive, which means the positivity rate is 0.1 percent.

The total number of screening tests is nearly 890,000 conducted during the same duration and among those 277 cases were found to be positive, meaning the positivity rate is 0.03 percent.”

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