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110,000 volunteers sought for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics

Flags of the 206 International Olympic Committee member nations and regions are seen displayed on the facade of the Palaceside Building, home to The Mainichi Newspapers Co. headquarters, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 28, 2017. (Mainichi)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is seeking about 110,000 volunteers to assist in the global extravaganza, it was announced on March 28.

The draft guidelines state that the application period for those wishing to volunteer will run from mid-September to early December. The organizers will then screen applicants and hold interviews before training the successful candidates. Individuals aged 18 or older as of April 1, 2020, are eligible to apply, but the committee also plans to promote the participation of junior high and high school students by creating a new framework.

The organizing committee will recruit 80,000 "games volunteers" and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will organize 30,000 "city volunteers." The former will work at events related to facilities such as competition venues and the Olympic village to provide services for spectators, support for event operations and other activities. The latter will provide tourist and transportation information at airports, major train stations, sightseeing areas and around train stations close to competition venues.

Nine work fields are available for games volunteers, including providing guidance at venues, support for event operations and the media, and serving as drivers. Applicants can choose up to three fields they wish to work in. The games volunteers are expected to work for at least 10 days during the Olympics and Paralympics. The committee is seeking people who are knowledgeable about the games, have experience volunteering or have language skills such as in English.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government hopes city volunteers can work for around five hours per day, and are expected to work for at least five days.

Successful candidates will receive uniforms, food and drink, but those who live outside Tokyo will have to pay their costs of transportation to the capital and accommodation costs.

Experts with special qualifications, such as doctors, will be sought to volunteer through another system.

For junior high and high school students, the committee is considering recruiting volunteers to work as ball persons for tennis, polishing basketball courts and to play music for spectators waiting to enter events.

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