Strong numbers as Tokyo 2020 volunteer drive closes

Kyodo, JIJI, AP

Volunteer recruitment for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games is well on track to meet its target of 80,000 volunteers, according to figures revealed by organizers on Thursday.

Roughly 162,000 applicants, more than double the 80,000 target, had completed the initial online procedure to become “the face of the Games” as of Thursday morning, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said.

About 60 percent of the applicants want to work for at least 11 days, according to the Tokyo Games organizing committee.

The online registration period, which started in September, closed at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Registered applicants had until Thursday to vote for the official nickname to be given to volunteers working at competition venues and the athletes’ village.

The shortlisted nominees were “Field Cast,” “Games Anchor,” “Games Force” and “Shining Blue.” The winner will be announced later this month.

Applications for the Tokyo metropolitan government’s own volunteer program also closed on Friday, with 28,689 potential participants having registered as of Wednesday morning.

Metropolitan volunteers will assist visitors at airports, train stations, and major tourist spots. Tokyo will draw 20,000 volunteers from the application pool and accept an additional 10,000 from local municipalities.

Para relay concept unveiled

On Friday, the Tokyo Games organizing committee said that the concept behind the Paralympic torch relay to be held after the Summer Games would be “Share Your Light.”

It said the slogan expresses Tokyo 2020’s goal of achieving a “fully inclusive society,” as well as to “communicate the spirit and values of the Paralympics.”

The Paralympic torch relay will be held over seven days between the closing ceremony of the Summer Games on Aug. 9 and the Paralympics opening ceremony on Aug. 25.

The route will go mainly through Tokyo and Chiba, Saitama and Shizuoka prefectures, all hosts of Paralympic events.