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2 Jun, 2021 16:09

THOUSANDS of Tokyo Olympic volunteers quit as Covid-ravaged Games continue to come under fire – reports

THOUSANDS of Tokyo Olympic volunteers quit as Covid-ravaged Games continue to come under fire – reports

Thousands of volunteers for this summer’s controversial Olympic Games in Tokyo have quit, according to reports. The Games remain widely unpopular in Japan, where polls show the majority of locals believe they should not proceed.

According to national broadcaster NHK, citing organizers, around 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers who signed up to help at the Olympic and Paralympic Games have walked away.

Volunteers have become a traditional presence at the heart of the Games, being on hand to help fans and generally liven up the atmosphere.

Their dwindling numbers in Japan this summer are indicative of the broader mood in the country, where surveys earlier this month showed more than 80% of the population still want the Olympics either postponed again or canceled altogether due to Covid concerns.

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Japan has been grappling with a fourth wave of Covid cases, and although infection numbers have been declining in recent days, falling to below 2,000 daily at the end of May, Tokyo has still extended a state of emergency until at least June 20 – five weeks before the Games are due to start.

Foreign fans have already been barred from attending the Games and questions remain over whether locals will be able to watch events.  

Officials at both the local organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have thus far been adamant that the Games will go ahead as planned, no doubt mindful of the outlay that has spent on arranging the delayed spectacle.

The cost of the Tokyo Games is officially put at around $15 billion, but in reality is said to be almost double that amount.  

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