Tokyo, May 12 (IANS) As many as 31 town administrations in and around Tokyo have said they will not host overseas athletes for training and cultural exchanges before the Olympic Games due to shortage of manpower caused by Covid-19.
Government sources say they have begun tracking the local governments that will not be participating in training and cultural exchange programmes as planned.
Reports coming in from the Chiba Prefecture say that the United States athletics team will not be organising its pre-Olympic camp there, while the British wheelchair basketball team and the Russian fencing team too are not planning to train there as scheduled, according to Japanese daily Kyodo News.
Ono City in Fukui Prefecture in central Japan, cancelled its ‘Host Town programme’ for the East Timor delegation.
A large number of host towns are withdrawing because of lack of manpower, as smaller municipal corporations are finding it difficult to secure staff to cater to the needs of entire contingents.
According to estimates, more than 528 municipalities had registered to host athletes from 184 nations during the Olympics and Paralympic Games, but due to the rapidly changing scenario and shortage of manpower, a few have pulled out.