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Over 110,000 volunteers needed for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paralympics


The Tokyo metropolitan government and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games have announced that they will be calling for over 110,000 volunteers to assist in the Games, an increase of 30,000 from the initially anticipated number.

Details of volunteer positions will be unveiled in July and applications will begin in September, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike said over the weekend, while actual face-to-face interviews with the applicants will be held from February 2019, Fuji TV reported.

Volunteer work will be needed in various areas related to the Games, including guiding visitors at train stations and airports, supporting athletes and staff at the athletes village, event venues and other areas. Foreign residents of Japan may also apply.

The government had initially said that they will need around 90,000 volunteers in total, but decided to increase the number as the number of venues was increased as well.

Apart from Tokyo, volunteers will be recruited in a total of nine regions in Japan, including Hokkaido, Osaka and Fukuoka.

© Japan Today

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lol no

The government is basically robbing their actual olympic workers of their overtime wages and they have the nerve to request even more people to volunteer their spare time for this nonsense? With all the money the JOC is spending on their fancy downtown offices and lavish nomikais several times a week, you'd think they could actually pay people to work for them. They already have several thousand volunteers. No thanks.

16 ( +27 / -11 )


You pretty much summed it up. Not to mention this woman running the show insisted that anyone joining her party be against foreign suffrage during the last election. She's not getting a finger lifted from this foreigner

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Will be interesting to see how many takers there are. I think its going to be tough going because people with skills needed for 2020 will be in demand for PAID positions so not sure how this will work out....

4 ( +10 / -6 )

every olympics in recent times have asked for volunteers (Peyeongchang, London, Beijing, etc.)  it's a great way for many of the local citizens to interact with people from all over the world. goodwill is a major part of the olympics, not only between athletes but also between locals and vistors.

check out what the BBC reported on: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-19201329

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Apart from Tokyo, volunteers will be recruited in a total of nine regions in Japan, including Hokkaido, Osaka and Fukuoka.

There have already been stories saying that volunteers have to do training beforehand, are expected to work a minimum number of days, and won't be reimbursed for travel expenses.

So they are expecting people to travel from Hokkaido or Kyushu at their own expense with no accommodation provided?

In case it is not clear, it is not the request for volunteers that anyone is commenting on, it is the strict requirements being made on the people who volunteer. By only accepting people who can volunteer on multiple days and can afford to pay their own way, the JOC is limiting who can get the chance to "interact with people from all over the world", if not taking advantage of people's good will. Remember that there are far more needy causes for volunteers than mega-commercial sports events.

9 ( +14 / -5 )


Well Said!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I see the Japan-bashers are out in force. Olympics volunteers are not paid, nor are Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, World Cup soccer, Rugby World Cup volunteers and so on. It's fun and exciting to be part of the event. I was in Sydney for the Olympics and the volunteer spirit was wonderful. Nobody expected to get paid. The same goes for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast this year.

Tokyo will have no trouble. There will be plenty of volunteers. If I can get time off, I'm going to volunteer, too. I might take my summer vacation then.

Language will be a problem but it won't matter. Everyone will be having a good time ... except the Japan bashers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think they'll have any problems finding volunteers to be honest. They just need to get a few TV celebrities to announce that they'll be volunteering and the website will be inundated with applications. Not to mention all the corporate sponsors who can pressure their employees. That's Japan in a nutshell. I won't be volunteering simply because I'm too lazy and I don't like the heat. I've changed my profile picture to the mascot and that's all they're getting from me.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Well, now the millions of retirees filling the ranks of japanese population can be put to good use.

Go for it old fellas!!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

honestly, i would offer but they’d probably say no thanks.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Anyone is welcome to volunteer, whether you are Japanese or not.

Well said smartacus (trying to 'plus' you but for whatever reason it's not working. not the first time this happens).

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

smartacusToday  05:38 pm JST

Language will be a problem but it won't matter. Everyone will be having a good time ... except the Japan bashers.

There is certainly good in the spirit of the volunteer effort, but thre is certainly some incongruence as well, with the "olympic spirit", when the merhcandising side, the monetary side is as huge as the sporty and cammaraderie side is.

Some might say it couldn't be any other way, And that would be the truly bleak thing, to believe there is NO any other better way for our world to spin around, thus negating any effort or visualization of a better, if ideal, world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'd definatly be jobless if I did it, guess that's the volunteer spirit. And it's going to be stupidly hot.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Anyone is welcome to volunteer, whether you are Japanese or not

Thank you. Yes that’s correct.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I really have thought about volunteering but,having spent over half my life here and know how things work,I'm almost certain I would be asked to volunteer as an English teacher to the Japanese volunteers.No thanks!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Anyone is welcome to volunteer, whether you are Japanese or not, but there is a vetting process and you just as a Japanese national might get, a no thank you letter.

I am going to volunteer but on my own terms. I live close to the sailing venue and want to help them out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There will be many volunteers who love/loved when they were young and students who participates in their school sports. And there will be older people who rather participate volunteering than paying to watch games.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think there will be many volunteers who wants help disabled people coming to watch games.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 I would be asked to volunteer as an English teacher to the Japanese volunteers.

Happened to me once. I am a qualified first responder back home but asked to teach local volunteers to ask "do you feel sick" "do you need assistance" e.t.c. I spat the dummy and was cold shouldered as not being friendly and genki enough. Stuff that malarchy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I am British. I volunteered for London 2012 having never volunteered before. I had the time of my life and saw it as a chance to represent my country and welcometo the world in my home city. Since then, I have traveled to Glasgow for the commonwealth Games in 2014 and to Rio 2016 for the Olympics. This year I will be going to Australia for my second Commonwealth games. At home I regularly volunteer for England Hockey and support all of their events with my time and enthusiasm. I do all of this at my own expense and save as much as I can to do so. If you can give your time you won't regret it. I am already saving for Tokyo 2020 and hope to be selected to be an Olympic volunteer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you don't want to volunteer, don't volunteer.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

They should at least provide these volunteers with accommodation. Only a certain class of people have the leisure time to do something like this, and it's an even smaller class who will be able to pay the obscene amounts of money that it will cost to have a place to sleep during the Games.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I’d like to host a volunteer. Maybe they can set up a system for people to host volunteers who come from afar.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

smartacus, I agree (and also could not + you. Seems to be a periodic problem), the Games Makers (volunteers) for the London Olympics did not get paid, some traveled from Scotland and other parts of the country for training before the event without reimbursement and had to find their own accommodation, as far as I am aware none of them whined about it and they had a great time.

I am sure the volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics will have as good a time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't volunteer if you want to be paid. Correct me if I'm wrong, but to volunteer means to offer oneself freely, doesn't it? One would hope people aren't forced to volunteer because, by default, that would mean they aren't volunteering. Savvy?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I live on Okinawa I’d like to volunteer. I’ve tried for 2 years to contact someone about it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am a habitual volunteer for causes that reflect the greater good.

Tokyo 2020 will be my 4th Olympics.

There were over 70,000 for Rio. Although they suffered from poor press and lots of negativity, the Olympic spirit was alive.

We all go on our own dime. Travel, housing, etc. We take off work.

Citius. Altius. Fortius.

Faster. Higher. Stronger.

The Olympics oath focuses on sportsmanship and honor.

I know the Japanese are well familiar with honor.

We who volunteer are honored to do so.

I go to Japan at least once a year.

I cannot wait to be there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Toshiko

Koike used to be the minister of JSDF. Then she became Governor. She hasn't lost her ability to create new. Idea.

Recruiting volunteers for the Olympics is hardly a "new idea" of Koike's. If I remember correctly back to Sydney 2000, there were actually too many volunteer applications and some were turned away! There are some benefits - free tickets, occasionally getting to meet athletes and so on. There are legions of retired folk in Japan, so there should be no problem getting the numbers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I was a volunteer team leader at London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. it was a truly amazing experience. Since then I have volunteered regularly for Silverstone motor racing events, I volunteer for England hockey, Riding for the Disabled and Special Olympics. I was amazingly lucky to go to Rio 2016 as a volunteer and I will soon be heading out to Australia to volunteer at the commonwealth games. I work hard and save so that I can afford to volunteer and yes it can be very tough to raise the money to go but it is worth every single penny. I have made the most amazing lifelong friends from all over the world through volunteering. I can’t wait to put in my application for Tokyo. It is an incredible honour to volunteer at the Olympics so why not give it a try

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lisa Blanco

The Olympics oath focuses on sportsmanship and honor.

Please say this to the people who were forced to move out of their homes to give way for building giant stadiums and olympic villages. These people were living in those communities for decades and suddenly they needed to move out for an event that will last for only 2 weeks. They got seperated from their beloved communities for the sake of sportsmanship?

We all go on our own dime. Travel, housing, etc. We take off work.

Olympics is raking millions of dollars! why would they ask for volunteers!? The reason why they abuse is because there are people who are willing to be. The truth is only few people benefit from this extravagant event . If you look at who get the contracts for all the businesses and any projects related to Olympics, you will see the same giant companies. So what are they talking about that Olympics is beneficial to the economy and people when they are only making few CEOs richer while the rest of the people will be left with ghost town olympic villages and useless giant stadiums after two weeks. I would not have issues with them if they've just been resourceful, but No! they choose to be unnecessarily extravagant.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm from Canada and I volunteered at the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2017 Invictus Games and there were thousands of volunteers from all over the world in Toronto. I also found many of my volunteer friends had volunteered at previous Olympic Games all over the world. But am I to understand from this article, that these games will only be recruiting volunteers from within Japan?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Helloo how can i join as a volunteer?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Buraku: Tokyo has plenty budget money for Tokyo Olympic. Unlike some places, Ad income will be huge.

By using volunteers, Tokyo income by Olympic will be huge.

If people requesting travel money to volunteer from Okinawa,, of cause no answer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been volunteering at the Olympic games and major international sports events since 1976. And yes, one does travel and volunteer at their own expense. Occasionally living arrangements are offered, but very rarely.

I love to travel and I enjoy attending sports events, so why not immerse myself and get acquainted with the country I am in and with people from all over the world. I've taken vacation time to do so and now that I am retired, I actually arrive much earlier to visit and appreciate the country I am in and also familiarize myself with the venues I am volunteering at.

I can't speak for the people of Japan, however I can say that there has never been a shortage of international volunteers for every event I have volunteered at over the past 40 something years and the quantity of social media groups for volunteers by country for 2020 confirm it won't be different for Tokyo.

For those saying they don't agree or want to participate, then don't. For those saying there are better causes to volunteer for, why not do both?

Greetings from Montreal, Canada and see you in Tokyo in 2020!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If there's something i put in my mind since last year is that i really want to try volunteering for Tokyo 2020.

I want to challenge myself, I'm not feeling good with how things are going for me and i see this as an opportunity to change something in my life.

I'll work my ass off so i can get a chance to go there, to go a country I always wanted to and with a good purpose for going there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will housing be provided for 2020 games? Rio wasn't..coming from USA, must have housing provided or it becomes unmanageable for that length of time

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To work for no pay, spend your free time to help others and enjoy the positive feedback is one thing, but TO PAY for being a volunteer is completely different. There are a lot of people who want to become a volunteer during Tokyo Olympic, but I don't know how many people are able to spend about $10000 to become one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@quercetum do you still want to host a volunteer?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I applied to be volunteer. I do not expect a payment for my hours but I expect to offer me accommodation. I am willing to work for free, to pay my airtickets to come to Japan BUT I am not going to pay also for accommodation. If this is not offered (at least), I will withdraw my participation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

quercetum - I'm a wannabe volunteer from Hungary (31, F), can you host me? ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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