The concept of volunteering grew widely in Japan after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995. Since then, the image of volunteering in Japan has been closely linked to altruism. Increases in volunteering in the country can be seen after each earthquake such as the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016. Large-scale sport events in Japan, such as the 1985 Summer Universiade in Kobe and the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, have also drawn temporary attention to volunteering. Volunteering in sport, however, is still a relatively unfamiliar concept. As Japan is hosting three large-scale sport events in the next three years, the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the World Masters Games 2021 Kansai, the spotlight is once again on volunteers. It is hoped the events can be leveraged to create a sustainable volunteer culture in Japan.
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