Australia will prepare for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Kobe, they have announced.
The Japanese city is located more than 600 kilometres from Tokyo but has been chosen to host the Australian team's pre-Games staging camp.
It was selected following a competitive bid process involving four cities in Japan.
Kobe, Japan's sixth largest city and the capital of Hyōgo Prefecture, was chosen because it was able to provide the Australian team with the most wheelchair accessible accommodation, as well as its accessible training and recovery venues.
"We’re really excited to announce Kobe as our staging camp for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Team," Lynne Anderson, chief executive of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC), said.
"APC staff travelled around Japan looking for the most suitable location, and what Kobe had to offer in terms of a high performance environment, great facilities and accessible accommodation for our athletes - it provided the ideal fit for what we are hoping to achieve during our 2020 staging camp.”
"Staging camp is a great way to bring athletes into the host nation for the Games and to ease the transition into the high-pressure Games environment.
"It allows our team members to acclimatize, recover really well, get used to their environment and from a culture point of view, it allows the Australian Team to create and grow that culture and that relaxed feeling within the team before an athlete goes into the [Athletes'] Village."
Kate McLoughlin, Chef de Mission of Australia's team for Tokyo 2020, claimed the success of the Cardiff staging camp prior to London 2012 has given many of the sports confidence about the initiative, with 10 of the 18 sports already registering their interest.
"We know that the Paralympic Games is incredibly intense, and incredibly elite competition so the earlier we can put our plans into play, and prepare a great staging camp for our athletes and coaching staff, the better our team will be well-prepared and ready when they finally hit that stage," McLoughlin said.
"While we chose not to deliver a staging camp for Rio 2016 for performance reasons within that environment, we know how instrumental the Cardiff pre-Games staging camp was to the success of the London Paralympic Team, not just in terms of medal success, but culture, and it’s great to see so many sports show enthusiasm for the idea once again.
"On the site visits we’ve had, it’s very obvious that Kobe and the Japanese people are excited to welcome the Australian Paralympic Team to their city. In particular, the people of Kobe have really embraced us, and we’re honoured to have Kobe as our partner in staging camp and beyond."
As part of the agreement, Kobe will be providing the Australian team with free of charge training and recovery venues, transport, conference and meeting rooms, volunteers and interpreters.
While in Kobe, the APC will also distribute all uniforms, as well as announce the Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer.
The official signing between the city of Kobe and the APC is due to take place next Monday (September 11), during the APC’s next site visit to Japan.