The Yamanashi Prefecture in which the cycling road races are due to take place during the re-arranged Tokyo 2020 Olympics has reported that more than half of the 163 volunteers originally recruited for the event have declined to take up their duties.
The Prefectural Olympic and Paralympic promotion division said that some were unable to participate, but others had cited their fears over the COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported.
The road race competitions are scheduled in Yamanakako Village on July 24 and 25 and volunteers are required to provide traffic guidance and support for visitors around the course and at the nearest station from July 23 to 26.
A total of 142 people participated in the first training held in June 2019, but as of the start of this month the number has decreased further to 78.
Prefecture officials have warned there is a possibility that the number of volunteers could decrease again when the next training takes place in the middle of this month,
The Prefectural office, however, is not considering additional recruitment, saying: “We have secured a large number of people, so we do not think that it will affect the operation of the Games.”