Photo/IllutrationParticipants at an instructional meeting on Oct. 4 in Tokyo receive hands-on tips on how to help someone in a wheelchair navigate a slope. (Hikari Maruyama)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Thousands of individuals volunteering their services for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year got their first taste Oct. 4 of the duties they will be expected to perform.

In addition to receiving practical advice on things such as how to go about helping those with disabilities, the prospective volunteers were also told to refrain from posting photos and messages to social networking sites that make reference to companies that are not official sponsors for the Olympics.

At the Tokyo training session, about 550 volunteers who will work at the Olympic venues and about 180 who will help out at train stations and other locations to provide information to visitors were told what they had to keep in mind as volunteers.

About 80,000 volunteers will be posted to the venue sites, while another 30,000 or so will assist at various locations so spectators can get to their destinations smoothly.

The instructional meetings will continue until February at 13 locations spread out over 11 prefectures.

One point driven home to the participants was the need to remember the companies that serve as official sponsors of either the International Olympic Committee or the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee.

As one example, the participants were told that Coca-Cola Co. is a worldwide partner of the Olympics and suggested that they not post messages to social networking sites praising the taste and effectiveness of beverages not produced by Coca-Cola.

The Tokyo metropolitan government organized the training session for those providing tourist information at train stations and other locations. At that session, the moderator touched upon the fact that Asics Corp. is the official provider of sportswear for the Tokyo Olympics so the volunteers should not wear items with the logos of other manufacturers.

Asics will provide the uniforms and sneakers that the volunteers will wear, so they were told they should be cautious about putting on other items that are not made by Asics.

(Hikari Maruyama and Daisuke Maeda contributed to this article.)