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Tokyo 2020 organizers plan to hire at least 90,000 Olympic volunteers

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Nov. 18 released a "strategic plan" to hire at least 90,000 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers for the 2020 Games.

There will be two types of volunteers, those who help with the running of the games themselves, and those who act as Tokyo sightseeing guides. According to the plan, the requirements for volunteers include that they are at least 18 years old as of April 1, 2020, that they can participate in training, and that they can work for 10 or more days if they are helping with running the event, or five or more days if they are acting as a sightseeing guide. The organizers are calling on prospective volunteers who will help with running the event to build up their experience with foreign languages.

Sightseeing guides are to work five or more hours a day, and efforts have been made to accommodate volunteers with disabilities or who are raising children. Organizers are also considering ways to allow elementary, junior high and high school students to experience some of the volunteer work.

Applications for volunteers are to start in the summer of 2018, with applicants going through a document screening process and interviews.

The volunteer work is unpaid, and transit and lodging is also up to volunteers to handle themselves. For the 2012 London Games, there were around 240,000 applicants for volunteer positions to help with running the games, around 70,000 of whom were accepted. A total of 24,000 applied to be sightseeing guide volunteers in London, and about 8,000 were accepted. The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has published the strategic plan on its website, and it is soliciting public opinions on the plan via email through Dec. 2.

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