A record number of 4,403 athletes from 162 countries are taking part across 22 sports at the Tokyo Paralympics which runs through September 5.
China has sent a delegation of 251 athletes, 132 female and 119 male, with the oldest athlete being 56 years old and the youngest 16 years old. They will compete in 20 out of 22 sports.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach is among the very few invited spectators at the opening ceremony. As the coronavirus situation has worsened in Japan in recent weeks, the Paralympics will also take place generally without spectators, as was the case with the Olympics.
Two weeks after the close of the Olympic Games, the new competitions began amid a growing wave of COVID-19 infections in Tokyo, a city that remains under a health emergency.
The Paralympic games, which were also delayed for one year because of the pandemic, are carried out in a "bubble format", which involves the limitation of movements for all participants and a constant monitoring of their health.
However, there are concerns that parathletes may be at greater risk from the coronavirus because of their underlying pathologies, something that organizers have tried to counter by promoting vaccination among all participants. About 90 percent of athletes and those responsible for sports committees are vaccinated, according to data from the International Paralympic Committee.