Japan will send a 260-strong delegation to attend the Beijing Winter Olympic Games to be held from February 4-20, the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) announced on January 20.
A total of 122 athletes, including 48 men and 74 women, will compete in 13 disciplines from all sports except bobsleigh. The number of athletes is the third-largest in Japan's participating history at the Olympics Games, behind only the 1998 Nagano Games (156) and the edition four years ago in PyeongChang (124).
Ito Hidehito, a member of the JOC Executive Board, has been announced as the chef de mission.
The JOC also revealed that veteran Nordic combined skier Akito Watabe and women's speed skater Go Arisa will be the flagbearers at the opening ceremony, which will be held at Beijing's iconic Birds Nest national stadium on the night of February 4.
The 33-year-old Watabe is a two-time silver medalist in the men's individual normal hill 10-kilometer event, reaching the podium at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and again four years later in PyeongChang. Go, 34, finished eighth four years ago in the women's 500 meters, returned from retirement and qualified for her second Winter Olympic Games.
The JOC announced that women's star speed skater Miho Takagi will be the captain of the Olympic team. The 27-year-old collected one gold, one silver and one bronze four years ago in PyeongChang.