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Tokyo Olympics to bar overseas volunteers

Tokyo Olympic organisers say Japan will not allow in volunteers from overseas except for some who are deemed essential, after it decided to bar international spectators amid public concerns over the novel coronavirus.

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto told a news conference that it was “regrettable” but that organisers wanted to decide now so that there would not be confusion for volunteers overseas who were waiting for a decision.

Some 600,000 Olympic tickets purchased by overseas residents will be refunded as will another 30,000 Paralympic tickets, Tokyo organisers said on Saturday after deciding not to allow in foreign spectators during the Games.

Muto said exceptions would be made for volunteers with expert and specialised knowledge about specific sports and that these people would receive individual notifications.

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