Olympic Torch Relay in Japan to Undergo Changes if Crowded
Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)--Some changes will be made in the Olympic torch relay in Fukushima, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures in Japan, set for March 26 through April 1, if roadsides are excessively crowded by spectators, the Tokyo Games organizing committee said Tuesday.
The decision is designed to prevent infections with the novel coronavirus, the committee said. The changes will possibly include replacing torch runners but the relay route will not change, it said.
The committee's decision came after the relay in Greece was called off on the second day on Friday because crowds were too large.
The Tokyo organizing committee has no plans to call off the relay in Japan, Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto said. "We want to ensure the relay is complete after 121 days across the country," he said.
The relay in Japan is scheduled to start on March 26 at the J-Village soccer training center in Fukushima. The starting ceremony will be held on a reduced scale and without spectators. Ceremonial events including choral singing by local students have been canceled.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]