The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Video games will begin in simply over three months, and it faces the identical questions because the Olympics about being held safely through the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers mentioned Tuesday the relay is about to start on March 25 from the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima. This was additionally to have been the start line for the relay earlier than the Olympics have been postponed 9 months in the past.
This coastal space of Japan was devastated nearly 10 years in the past by an earthquake and tsunami and the following meltdown of three nuclear reactors.
The relay will journey throughout Japan and contain 10,000 runners and tens of 1000’s of officers. This doesn’t embrace native residents who will wish to see the torch go by.
“The COVID-19 countermeasures can be labored on repeatedly for the torch relay; the viewers, the torchbearers in addition to the officers who’re associated to this system,” Yukihiko Nunomura, vice director normal of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, mentioned throughout a web based information convention.
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The relay is sponsored by Toyota and Coca-Cola — two heavyweight Olympic sponsors. There was some dialogue early about the potential for eliminating the occasion for price and security causes, however that concept gave the impression to be rapidly discarded.
The relay will final for 121 days and go by means of 859 municipalities — just about as was deliberate earlier than the postponement.
“We needed to simplify this system as a lot as attainable, attempting to reduce the variety of automobiles and viewers as effectively,” Nunomura mentioned. “As you understand the torch relay will go throughout Japan and we may have lots of contributors.”
The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in Japan, was lighted in gold on Tuesday to commemorate 100 days till the relay begins.
Organizers of the Olympics and torch relay are ready till early subsequent 12 months to supply particular particulars about countermeasures for the coronavirus. They’ve been inspired concerning the current roll out of vaccines.
“A couple of vaccines at the moment are being distributed and are literally getting used,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike mentioned Monday in an interview with The Related Press. “It is a ray of hope.”
Japan has seen new infections spike throughout the nation within the final a number of weeks. On Saturday, new circumstances totalled 3,041 — the primary time above 3,000.
Japan, with a inhabitants of 125 million, has dealt with the pandemic comparatively effectively with simply over 2,500 deaths attributed to COVID-19.