Shimane May Conditionally OK Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay


Matsue, Shimane Pref., April 6 (Jiji Press)--Shimane Prefecture is now considering allowing the Tokyo Olympic torch relay to take place in the western Japan prefecture on condition that it be held in a way as simple as possible to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, it was learned Tuesday.

The prefectural government will specifically ask the Tokyo games organizing committee to reduce the number of vehicles of sponsor companies, which will lead the torchbearers, and that of related officials participating in the torch relay, informed sources said.

The prefecture is expected to make a final decision in mid-April on whether to accept the torch relay, after holding talks with officials of the organizing committee and lawmakers elected from Shimane, according to the sources.

In February, Shimane Governor Tatsuya Maruyama said the prefecture is considering canceling the Olympic torch relay in Shimane, slated for May 15-16, noting that measures against the epidemic introduced by the Tokyo metropolitan government and the central government are insufficient.

Other than Shimane, Osaka Prefecture has called on the organizing committee to exclude public roads in the city of Osaka, the capital of the western prefecture, from the route of the torch relay as the city is under the central government-set coronavirus pre-emergency stage, which started on Monday and will last until May 5. The torch is set to visit the prefecture on April 13-14.

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