Shimane Governor Hints at Canceling Olympic Torch Relay

Politics Sports

Matsue, Shimane Pref., Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)--Shimane Governor Tatsuya Maruyama said Wednesday he is considering canceling the Olympic torch relay in the western Japan prefecture, slated for May, citing poor handling of the coronavirus crisis in the country.

The prefectural government will make a decision on whether to hold the relay in Shimane after monitoring how the situation unfolds "in about a month," Maruyama said. The torch relay will start on March 25.

The governor made the remarks in a meeting of a prefectural committee on the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were postponed by a year to this summer due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The possible cancellation of the torch relay will be a further setback for the Tokyo Games, amid public skepticism about holding the events amid the pandemic and confusion at the games' organizing committee, whose head has announced resignation for making comments demeaning women.

A senior official of the central government expressed displeasure with Maruyama's remarks. It is wrong to link any defects in response to the coronavirus to the conditions for holding the torch relay, the official said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press