dpa/GNA – Japanese organizers want to show the recovery from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami which rocked the country to the rest of the world through the long-awaited Olympic torch relay for the Tokyo Games, they said on Wednesday.
The 121-day relay is due to begin on Thursday at the J-Village football training centre near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the site of Japan’s worst nuclear accident 10 years ago.
Olympic organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said they want to convey appreciation to other countries during the relay as Japan had received much help and support from abroad during the 2011 disaster in the north-east.
The Olympic flame will be carried in turns by about 10,000 torchbearers across the nation’s 47 prefectures. The relay ends at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games on July 23.
Hashimoto said the torch relay will also bring “hope, energy and strength” to each of the destinations
However, people are encouraged to watch the relay online and organizers are asking roadside spectators to wear masks and not to shout or cheer to curb the potential spread of the coronavirus.
Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee decided on Saturday to prohibit overseas spectators from attending this summer’s Tokyo Games and Paralympics due to the pandemic.
Most volunteers from abroad will not be accepted, either, organizers said.