Some 500 volunteers from abroad have been cleared to come to Japan and provide assistance at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, Kyodo news agency reported on Monday.
On March 20, the Japanese news agency reported that foreign volunteers would be barred from arriving to the country to render help during the Olympics in Tokyo, however, an exception was made for volunteers speaking rare foreign languages, TASS reports.
The Local Organizing Committee of the 2020 Olympics in Japan announced last Saturday its decision to bar all foreign spectators coming to Japan from attending the much-anticipated quadrennial competitions as a safety measure against the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
Japan’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa told reporters over the weekend that: "The decision comes primarily from the need to ensure security amid the pandemic."
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan’s Tokyo will be held between July 23 and August 8. In March 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced a decision to postpone for one year the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Japan due to the continuous COVID-19 spread.
As of today, Japan is ranked 39th in the world in terms of reported COVID-19 cases, which currently stand at 455,638. More than 8,810 people died of the novel coronavirus infection, while over 433,140 recovered from the illness.