News & Topics

2018.07.04

Quick, Comprehensive Guide on Volunteers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games (hereinafter, the “Tokyo 2020 Games”) is to be held in the summer, two years from now. And it’s not only athletes competing for the right to participate in these games.

Over 110,000 volunteers are expected to support the operation of the games. Here, we would like to quickly go over the information posted on each of the official websites*1, regarding for the volunteers for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
*1: Official website of The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tokyo Metropolitan Volunteerism Navigation Website


Volunteers at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games ⒸGetty Images Sport


There are two different types of volunteers for the Tokyo 2020 Games, known as “Games Volunteers” and “City Volunteers.” Let’s start by looking at the differences between the two.


Volunteers at the London 2012 Paralympic Games ⒸGetty Images Sport


“Games Volunteers”: The Face of the Tokyo 2020 Games

Games Volunteers are under the management of The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (hereinafter, The Tokyo Organising Committee), and will work at the venues and at related facilities. They are in charge of the Tokyo 2020 Games itself, and will be directly involved with the operation of the games, providing services for spectators and supporting the media. About 80,000 volunteers are expected to be recruited as Games Volunteers.

*The number of volunteers recruited may change in the future due to changes in operation, state of preparation, etc.
*Each volunteer will be assigned a portion of the work described above.
*Volunteers may select up to three preferred areas of work. However, there is no guarantee that you will actually be assigned to any of these areas.

“City Volunteers”: The Face of Tokyo, the Host City

City Volunteers are under the management of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and other local governments where the venues are located, and will work to assist tourists and manage traffic at airports, stations, and areas around the venues. About 20,000*2 volunteers are expected to be recruited as City Volunteers in Tokyo.
*2: In addition to the 20,000 newly recruited volunteers, there will be 10,000 more recruited from amongst a pool of volunteers who have already had experience volunteering in Tokyo (Tokyo Tourism, 2019 Rugby World Cup, etc.) and who can make use of this past experience. This brings the number up to a total of over 30,000 City Volunteers.

*These numbers are tentative.
*Each volunteer will be assigned a portion of the work described above.
*This is the recruitment criteria for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. (Local governments will have different recruitment criteria for City Volunteers.)

Duration/Hours of Activity for Volunteers

Games Volunteers:
As a general rule, volunteers are expected to work for over 10 days, with about 8 hours of activity per day, for both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games.
*The pre-game volunteering period is expected to begin in April 2020
*Limited to five consecutive days of work
*Volunteers who wish to volunteer at both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games should expect to work over 10 days for each, for a total of over 20 days

City Volunteers*3:
City Volunteers are expected to work for over 5 days, with about 5 hours of activity per day during the duration of the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games.
*Volunteers do not have to work consecutive days, meaning they can use their weekends and other holidays to volunteer
*Volunteers may apply to be both a Games Volunteer and City Volunteer, as long as the periods of activity do not overlap
*3: This is the recruitment criteria for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. (Local governments will have different recruitment criteria for City Volunteers.)


Volunteers working at the London 2012 Paralympic Games ⒸGetty Images Sport


When Applying to Be a Volunteer:
Now that you have an idea of what the volunteers actually do, let’s take a look at the application requirements.

Games Volunteers:
- Must have been born before April 1, 2002
- Must have Japanese citizenship, or a status of residence that qualifies you to stay in Japan during your period of activity

City Volunteers*4:
- Must have been born before April 1, 2002
- Must have Japanese citizenship, or a status of residence that qualifies you to live in Japan during your period of activity
- Must be able to speak basic conversational Japanese (be able to understand others and communicate with others)
*4: This is the recruitment criteria for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. (Local governments will have different recruitment criteria for City Volunteers.)

This means you must be at least 18 years old by April 1, 2020 if you want to apply to be a Games Volunteer and/or a City Volunteer.


Volunteers at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympics ⒸGetty Images Sport


Schedule Until the Tokyo 2020 Games

Volunteer registration for the Tokyo 2020 Games will officially begin in mid-September of 2018.

Volunteers who pass the screenings will undergo a series of training programs before the start of the games. See the official websites of each of the operating entities for more details.

Official Websites Related to Games Volunteers and City Volunteers:
Information on Games Volunteers: The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Information on City Volunteers: Tokyo Metropolitan Government*5
5: Local governments will have different recruitment schedules for City Volunteers.


Volunteers working at the London 2012 ParalympicsⒸGetty Images Sport


What did you think? Volunteering at the Tokyo 2020 Games is a great opportunity for you to support a major historical sports event, and will be sure to provide you with experiences and encounters you will treasure for the rest of your life. Make sure to keep an eye out for any additional information about volunteering for these games.



See here for information on volunteering at the Tokyo 2020 Games!
(External Site: The Nippon Foundation Volunteer Support Center *Japanese Only)

*The information in this article is as of the date of its publication. Information about volunteers was confirmed with each of the related organizations before publication.

text by Parasapo
key visual by Getty Images Sport

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