Osaka Cancels Olympic Torch Relay on Public Roads

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Osaka, April 7 (Jiji Press)--Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said Wednesday that the Tokyo Olympic torch relay will not be held on public roads in the western Japan prefecture due to a resurgence of novel coronavirus infections.

The cancellation comes as the prefectural government issued a request for residents to avoid unnecessary travel to curb infections earlier on Wednesday, Yoshimura said at a press conference.

The torch relay "would cause a crowd as many people would 'want to see it once,'" he said. The Osaka leg of the nationwide relay was initially set for two days from Tuesday.

The relay began in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on March 25. It is the first time that a relay on public roads has been canceled.

Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo Games organizing committee, supported Yoshimura's decision. "In this unusual situation, a different way of the relay is necessary to contain risks," Muto told a virtual press conference.

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