Tokyo, Jun 2 (EFE).- Some 10,000 volunteers for the organization of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, 12.5 percent of the total required by the organizers, have withdrawn, the NHK public TV said on Wednesday.
They quit citing different reasons, including concerns over the coronavirus or their unavailability due to the event’s postponement for a year due to the pandemic, according to NHK sources within the organization.
The organizers, however, believe that the volunteers’ exit is not an impediment to carry on with the Games, the source added.
Before the event was moved to 2021, organizers recruited 80,000 volunteers for support tasks during the event that will get underway on 23 July.
The volunteers’ exodus began in February, when hundreds resigned in protest to the former head of the organizing committee Yoshiro Mori’s remarks, which were perceived as sexist.
“I think there are people who find it difficult to participate in activities with the (new) calendar,” Tokyo Organizing Committee CEO Toshiro Muto told NHK
“We will take measures such as having volunteers participate in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, so I think there will be no problem,” he added.
The Tokyo government also recruited 30,000 volunteers, some of whom have also quit, although the exact number is not known.
This adds to the obstacles the organizing committee faces to hold the Olympics amid the pandemic that forced the government to declare the state of emergency in the capital and 10 other prefectures initially until 20 June. EFE