Another 3,500 volunteers withdraw from Tokyo Games

Tokyo, Jun 7 (EFE).- Some 3,500 people registered in several Japanese cities as volunteers for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have quit, public broadcaster NHK reported Monday.

Those who have withdrawn were some of the 40,000 volunteers that municipal authorities across the country had recruited to act as city guides during the sporting event at train stations, airports or points of interest and to provide information pertaining to tourism or logistics to spectators and visitors.

At least 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers recruited by the organizers of Tokyo 2020 to work at venues and the athletes’ village during the event announced their withdrawal from the event earlier this month.

The number of withdrawals of the so-called “City Volunteers” could be higher as Tokyo and Saitama prefecture are yet to confirm their numbers.

Tokyo had recruited some 30,000 of these volunteers in the city, of which several hundred had already resigned in February in protest of sexist remarks by the former head of the organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori.

Among the main reasons for the resignations is the volunteers’ concern about the spread of Covid-19 during the event.

A state of emergency has been imposed in Tokyo and other prefectures due to a fourth wave of coronavirus infections in the country.

Some volunteers are also concerned about the controversy surrounding the holding of the Olympic Games, NHK said.

According to the latest polls, the Tokyo Games do not have the support of a large section of the Japanese public.

Other volunteers said that they had no reason to participate since the event would be held without overseas spectators.

A decision on whether Japanese spectators will be allowed is yet to be made.

They also alleged availability difficulties, job transfers and other factors due to the postponement of the Games.

The reduction of volunteers is yet another obstacle that the Tokyo Games face after being postponed by a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the logistics of deploying anti-Covid measures and ensuring the necessary medical personnel. EFE


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