Olympics: Early torch relay ceremonies to be held without spectators
TOKYO. KAZINFORM The end-of-day ceremony of the Japan leg of the Olympic torch relay will be held without spectators throughout the relay's first days to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said Tuesday.
The celebration marking the end of each of the 121 days of the nationwide relay will be held behind closed doors throughout Fukushima, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures, the first regions of the showpiece event starting on March 26, Kyodo reports.
Muto said Monday that organizers will ask people to refrain from watching the nationwide torch relay from the roadside for some time in response to the outbreak. Organizers have also decided not to install booths along the relay's route promoting Olympic sponsors.
The Olympic flame is expected to arrive in Japan on Friday and is planned to be put on public display in areas hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The domestic relay will begin at the J-Village soccer training center, which served as an emergency response headquarters during the subsequent nuclear disaster in 2011.
After traveling throughout Fukushima Prefecture for three days, the relay will continue in Tochigi and Gunma prefectures for two days each.
The flame will then travel across all of Japan's 47 prefectures, but organizers said the specifics of the relay will be determined based on the status of infection in each region.