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Schools, firms ramp up efforts to train volunteers for 2020 Tokyo Games

By Shinichi Tokuda

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So who can we contact if we're interested?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Piko Taro

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Everyone should know this, but in Japan, "volunteer" means "unpaid". It does not mean "doing it under your own volition, possibly but not necessarily for no pay". If you are in Japan too long, you forget that people can volunteer for things and still get paid for them, aid workers or relief workers heading to the Caribbean for example.

Greed aside, there is nothing stopping Olympic organizers from holding unpaid training and then paying helpers for their work on the days. In the case of sponsor's employees, it is questionable whether the "under you own volition" part is true either.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I am 70 and presently teaching my last college semester. I am looking for a number or someone to contact about being a volunteer. What a nice job in the twilight of my life!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Getting nearly 100,000 people to work for free is a great way to cut costs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@kohakuebisu. Yes, volunteers are unpaid, that's the whole point of volunteering. All Olympics and other large sporting events rely on their volunteers. It's not unusual. I know several people who volunteered for the London Olympics and loved it. They were fortunate that many employers in the UK allowed their staff some time off to accommodate training days and duties at the Games. Don't see that happening here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I will admire all those volunteers who will train hard and learn other languages to feed the greed of Olympics. It contributes to lower wages but who cares in a wealthy nation ?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the meantime, the Lords of the Rings fly in to the 5-star hotels with their accompanying Olympic officials, staff, sponsors, dedicated traffic lanes, bulging expense accounts, and requests for all staff to smile. All paid for on the backs of their army of unpaid volunteers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is a distortion of the word volunteer for people to be automatically unpaid. It also confuses relief work, where the recipient may have no ability to pay, with commercial events, where the recipient may be rolling in tv broadcaster and sponsor money.

The volunteer staff at the Tokyo Olympics have to do training, sign up for a full 10 days, and will not get travel money, so they are paying to do this work. It is exploitation of people's good will. People volunteering for marathons do it in their home town for one day with no training beforehand. It is deceitful to equate that with the Olympics, and deceitful in the extreme to equate volunteering for relief work with it.

Every Japanese school, neighbourhood, festival, and the majority of fire brigades depends on people helping out with little or no reward. Japan is already a country run on people helping out, usually referred to as "youji" not "volunteer", for the sake of the group. The difference is that none of the above are overtly commercial events with fat cats skimming off millions.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If Japan threw in some free accommodation I'd do it for free.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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