Roughly 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers originally scheduled to help at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have quit, the Japanese organizing committee said Wednesday in the latest setback for the games to be held amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s no doubt that one of the reasons is concern over coronavirus infections,” Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee, told reporters, while saying it will not hinder operations.
The organizers have been struggling to build support and convince the public that the Olympics can be held safely in just over a month. The country has not been able to successfully control infections, driven by highly contagious variants of the virus.
“Field Cast” volunteers, who were recruited by the organizing committee from some 200,000 applications, were expected to take various roles, such as serving as guides at venues and helping in the operation of competitions.
The organizers had said about 1,000 volunteers quit in the 20 days after Yoshiro Mori, the former president of the organizing committee, sparked a sexist row for saying in February that women tend to talk too much during meetings.
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