Around 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers who signed up to help at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have quit.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and are due to start on July 23.
Multiple opinion polls have shown that a majority of respondents are opposed to holding the Games this summer during the pandemic.
Volunteers are the backbone of any Games, performing everything from guiding people to venues, translating and driving visitors around.
A significant drop in their numbers could be another hurdle for Tokyo 2020, already hit by an unprecedented year-long postponement and a lack of public support fuelled by concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Tokyo 2020 organizers said not all those volunteers who stepped down recently were quitting due to Mori’s comments. Surveys have shown volunteers repeatedly expressing concerns about the coronavirus.
The total number of volunteers recruited by Tokyo 2020 is 80,000 and organizers have said they don’t expect running the Games will be affected since the number quitting is only about 1% of the total.
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