The Tokyo Olympics are struggling to keep up with an army of volunteers after it emerged that organizers were hiring paid staff to do similar work, the latest hurdle in the long-running Aponia Games.
According to organizers, about 10,000 volunteers have left their jobs in recent weeks, out of about 110,000 who welcome Tokyo 2020 working as a guide, drivers, event staff, first responders և translators.
But without meeting a foreign audience during the Covid-19 state of emergency in Tokyo, the enthusiasm among volunteers is dwindling, highlighting the difficulties of staging the world’s biggest sporting event during the epidemic.
Japan’s government and the International Olympic Committee say the Games will start as planned on July 23, despite warnings from fans. can spread coronavirusված Delayed vaccination campaign, which gave the first dose to only 13% of the population.
The last blow to the morale of the volunteers was delivered when: There were ads on the Internet for an hourly (1,700 salary ($ 15.50) for working one hour during a “large-scale international sporting event”.
Although Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa said last month that volunteers would have different responsibilities to paid staff, the tasks advertised included guiding spectators and raising their temperatures.
One ad For a “water sports venue,” he said, it would be like working in a resort with food and shelter. Two agencies called by the Financial Times have confirmed that the jobs are linked to the Olympics.
Independent photographer Takamichi Ueno from Tochig Prefecture said he was still looking forward to his role in the bike race and hoped to meet the riders. But he said he was upset to hear that the games were being hired to work alongside staff volunteers as he had to travel to Fuji International Speedway – where the road race ends – to find a place at his own expense. “I do not agree with that,” he said.
Retired Katsuji Yoshioka said he resigned as a volunteer in April after being asked by his driver to register for a nine-hour shift. “They called it a driving force,” he said. “They were looking for shifts, like 14-23 in the evening, which meant it was difficult to get the last train.”
Yoshioka said he thought the work schedule was too busy for an inexperienced volunteer to make it easy to catch Covid as a driver. He felt justified when he heard that Tokyo 2020 is hiring paid staff. “It would be a joke if I did that job next to people who were paid for it,” he said.
To make the Games safer and to change the public mood, Japan Aponia is considering vaccinating all the volunteers before the Olympics, moving them one by one before the others. Japan Aponia is currently only vaccinated over the age of 65, but from June 21 it will allow large companies to vaccinate their employees.
“We have agreed to go in that direction,” Marukava said in response to a parliamentary question this week. “But there are a number of practical issues.”