Japan’s Olympics minister hopes torch relay turns around public sentiment

Politics Sports Tokyo 2020

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa delivers a speech at a five-party meeting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee president Seiko Hashimoto in Tokyo, Japan March 20, 2021. Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Japanese Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa delivers a speech at a five-party meeting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) president Andrew Parsons, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Organizing Committee president Seiko Hashimoto in Tokyo, Japan March 20, 2021. Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

FUKUSHIMA (Reuters) - Japan’s Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa told reporters on Thursday she hoped the public’s sentiment towards the Tokyo Games would improve as the torch relay proceeded.

Japan officially began the Olympic torch relay in Fukushima on Thursday, kicking off a four-month countdown to the Summer Games in Tokyo, which were delayed from 2020 and are the first ever organised during a global pandemic.

The Japanese public has soured on the event due to concerns over the pandemic.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Reuters Tokyo 2020