olympics

More than 186,000 apply to be Tokyo 2020 volunteers; 37% non-Japanese

17 Comments

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) announced Wednesday that, at the close of registrations on Dec 21, 186,101 applications for the Tokyo 2020 Games Volunteer Program had been received. Volunteers will enjoy a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to provide valuable support for the operation of the Games in a variety of roles, and their contribution will be a key factor in the Games' success.

Tokyo 2020 commenced accepting applications for the Games Volunteer Program on Sept 26 this year. Applicants to date range in age from teenagers to those in their 80s; 63% are female and 37% male, with 63% having Japanese nationality and 37% of applications coming from non-Japanese. A significant number of young people have applied, and the relatively large number of non-Japanese applicants highlights the strong level of global interest in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said, “We are pleased to have received so many applications. We appreciate applicants' understanding of the purpose of the Volunteer Program and of our Tokyo 2020 vision, and will be providing various programs as part of the orientation and training process to support and engage them before, during and after the Games.”

Interviews and orientation sessions for applicants residing in Japan will commence in February 2019, with general training following in October 2019. Orientation for successful overseas applicants will be held between March and July 2019 via video calls, with training to follow from June 2020. More details can be found here: https://tokyo2020.org/en/special/volunteer/.

Applications from those with a vision impairment may still be submitted; the deadline is 5 p.m. on Jan 18, 2019. The application process is outlined at https://tokyo2020.org/en/special/volunteer/news/notice/20181030-01.html.

© Japan Today

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17 Comments
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I'm against the Olympics, full stop, but obviously an awful lot of people are excited about 2020. And if they're volunteering, I suspect they have the time and money to dedicate a couple of weeks to the games. Good on them.

Doesn't mean I want Japan to ever host another Olympics or that I don't want to see this boondoggle and looting of the public treasury laid bare.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It’s amazing to know that there are more than 186,000 people in Japan who have nothing better to do with their time.

Yes, how dare teenagers, students of all ages, or the retired volunteer their time as they choose. Or those working PT or those working FT who may want to lend a hand/their skills on weekends. There is a point past which the negativity becomes toxic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There's a Japanese acquaintance of mine in her late seventies who plans on volunteering. Good on her but I plan on being as far away from the Olympics as possible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Who are all these foreigners who are volunteering? Do they all live in the Tokyo area? How are they able to devote so much time to these Olympics? I think these are fair questions.

Personally I wonder if a great many are from all the different embassies in the Tokyo area. The gov't perhaps put out a call, please help us out. I wonder in London, what percent of volunteers were not British citizens?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Volunteers will enjoy a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to provide

blablablabla. Volunteer work for helping out in a good cause, OK. For the Olympics, it means unpaid slave work. I disagree with it. But then again, there are still so many people who applied......guess I must be crazy.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Readers, no Japan-bashing please. Volunteering is not unpaid slave labor.

Who are all these foreigners who are volunteering? Do they all live in the Tokyo area? How are they able to devote so much time to these Olympics? I think these are fair questions.

Why is the Tokyo Marathon oversubscribed every year - both for runners and for volunteers? Why is the Rugby World cup volunteer program oversubscribed? Why does anyone volunteer for anything?

Having been to other international sporting events myself, including Olympic games, and having volunteered at many sports events at all levels, I'll say, all kinds of people enjoy volunteering. Many students, housewives, retirees.

I use my personal vacation days. I love certain sports and want to help make them happen. It's great to get to go behind the scenes and experience work I don't get to do in my day job. It's a great learning experience and lots of students should be free during the summer games. One of my best memories (and best set of photos) from my last Olympics, was after the final event on the last day - I was among the last group leaving and was thanking the venue volunteers and they were all taking pictures of themselves and each other and we, the international spectators. They'd had an absolute blast and made great friends. (And got their souvenir uniforms).

That said, I'm not volunteering for these Olympics. I aim to be out of town. I was disappointed when Tokyo got the Japan bid. It should have been Fukuoka or Sendai. Tokyo still benefits for the infrastructure boost of the 1964 games. Not fair.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Best ever? Have you experienced August heat? Just walking to the nearest convienence store is a shirt wetting chore. Like it or not, thinking not. There is no way I'm doing anything more than walking during August, even then begrudgingly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

t's not that many people! And only some 100,000 Japanese on the list? I'd have expected ten times that, for how heavily promoted the Olympics are.

Just more PR bull that the people get fed! You are right though, and the comment about the interest in the Olympics based upon the 37% of "gwaijin" volunteering , is in my opinion, probably more about the people wanting to actually see some of the games without having to pay an arm and a leg!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Sounds like a lot of the foreign applications are from people not living in Japan, I wonder how they would be put to use if they are too familiar with Tokyo or Japan itself???

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I tried to apply. But, no free ticket for events. Only standing in 42o parking lot.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Quite surprising considering Japan does not have a culture of volunteering and supporting non-profit youth groups.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Very interesting statistics from the London games.

An analysis of the gender of the participants suggested that 60.8% were male and 39.2% female. Of the total respondents, 62.4% were highly educated, holding a university bachelor degree or higher qualification. The employment status revealed that 58.5% of the respondents were in employment (either full or part-time), followed by retired volunteers (40.3%). The participants were more likely to be white and British (89.6%). From the 77 volunteers who completed the questionnaires, 35% were 60 years of age or older, followed by 30% in the 55–64 age range and 16% in the 45–54 age range.

The number of male to female volunteers is completely opposite to what we are seeing in Japan. As well, 89.6% were British, so London, also being a very international city did not rely on foreign volunteers like Tokyo looks to do.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Haven't we been reading lots of articles about them using robots to supplement this volunteer workforce?  how many robots planned?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's not that many people! And only some 100,000 Japanese on the list? I'd have expected ten times that, for how heavily promoted the Olympics are.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It’s amazing to know that there are more than 186,000 people in Japan who have nothing better to do with their time.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

There will be more voluntaries.. 2020 olympics will be the best ever, like it or not..

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

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