Tue, November 30, 2021


Tokyo organizers say 10,000 prospective volunteers have pulled out

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have lost more than 10% of their prospective volunteers with less than two months to go before the opening ceremony, the organizing committee said on Wednesday.

About 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers to be stationed at venues and other Olympic locations have pulled out, said Toshiro Muto, director general of the organizing committee.

Although they were not asked for specific reasons for their withdrawals, Muto said, “In addition to anxiety about getting infected with the coronavirus, it may have been because of changes in their situation, such as a work transfer in the one year that the Games were postponed.”

When the original operational plan was simplified through such measures as barring foreign spectators, the organizers found that some would be able to handle tasks at both the Olympics and Paralympics, so there is no intention of recruiting more volunteers.

“Even with smaller numbers, it doesn’t have a particular effect on operations,” Muto said.

With the decrease in volunteers, the number of people living in Japan who will be involved in the Games is expected to be about 190,000 for the Olympics and about 110,000 for the Paralympics.

■ Omi issues warning

In related news, the head of the government’s advisory panel on the coronavirus stressed what is needed if, against his advice, the Games go ahead as planned.

“Under the current circumstances, it is not normal [to hold the Games],” Shigeru Omi, chairman of the subcommittee on coronavirus countermeasures, said at a meeting of House of Representatives’ Health, Labor and Welfare Committee on Wednesday.

“If they are going to go on, it is the responsibility of the organizers to minimize the scale as much as possible, and to strengthen the administrative system as much as possible.”

Omi also stressed the need for accountability of the central and Tokyo metropolitan governments and the organizing committee, saying, “It is necessary that they explain what risks there are after making a thorough assessment.”

In response, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters Wednesday night at the Prime Minister’s Office, “We will take thorough measures to prevent infections and hold safe and secure Games.”

Published : June 04, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN