Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay To Start In Fukushima

Tokyo Olympic torch relay to start in Fukushima

The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start in Fukushima Prefecture, with an emphasis on areas hit hard by the 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

The route drawn up by the Tokyo Games organizing committee was approved at a meeting with the central and Tokyo governments on Thursday.

The torch relay will begin on March 26th 2020 in Fukushima and move southward to Okinawa Prefecture, before heading north again and arriving in Tokyo on July 10th.

The disaster-hit prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate will each have the flame for 3 days. Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka will also get the torch for 3 days. The 4 prefectures near Tokyo have multiple Olympic venues.

The flame will spend 2 days each in other prefectures and 15 days in Tokyo, taking 121 days in all and covering all of Japan's 47 prefectures.

The other proposed routes included one starting in Okinawa.

But the committee decided on the route originating from Fukushima to highlight a key theme of the Tokyo Games, the reconstruction from the 2011 disasters.

Regional committees to be set up in each prefecture will decide the more detailed routes by the end of this year.

The Tokyo Games organizing committee will announce the final route by the summer of 2019, after it is approved by the International Olympic Committee.