National

Screening sessions and interviews for 2020 Games volunteers begin in Tokyo

JIJI

The organizing committee for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have begun briefing sessions and interviews for people who want to volunteer to help run the games.

During the kickoff Saturday, the screening venue, which is capable of accommodating 480 people, was almost packed.

The number of people who applied to work as so-called “field cast,” those who will help run the venues in cooperation with the organizing committee, totaled 204,680, far more than the target of 80,000. For the metropolitan government’s “city cast,” or those whose jobs will include providing tourist information, the number of applicants came to 36,649 versus the target of 20,000.

The organizing committee will decide on the applicants based on the results of the interviews.

The metropolitan government, for its part, plans to accept all volunteers, in principle.

At the briefing session, Hanae Ito, a public relations official with the organizing committee, who herself competed in women’s swimming in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games, said, “I want you to work so that you will become part of the performances of Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”

In the interviews, applicants were asked to indicate the dates they would be available for volunteering and if they had any requests.

Toshiyuki Kubota, 54, an applicant from Tokyo’s Arakawa Ward, said working as a volunteer in the 2020 Games will be “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“I want to boost the mood of the games with like-minded people,” he added.