The Olympic flame in Greece - this is where the torch for Tokyo was lit.
Photo: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP
The coronavirus pandemic threatens the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
But the organizers are still sticking to the biggest sporting event of the year and are trying to achieve a bit of normality: The traditional torch relay is scheduled to start on March 25th in Fukushima, albeit subject to safety measures.
Spectators are encouraged to follow the 121-day torch relay live on the Internet.
As long as there is no overcrowding, citizens near their houses can also watch with masks from the roadside, the organizers said on Thursday.
But the audience should only clap, but not cheer the runners on.
"If by chance there are dense crowds in the streets, the torch relay can be stopped as we give priority to safety," said Yukihiko Nunomura from the organization team.
The torch relay had been canceled in the wake of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, as had the summer games.
The Olympic Games will now be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Special rules for torchbearers
The Olympic flame is now to be carried to all 47 prefectures of Japan before it is lit in the new Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
The approximately 10,000 torchbearers are expected to be allowed to run without a mask, but must provide daily health information for two weeks before the run and must avoid any risk of infection.
Events are scheduled at each location at the end of each day during the torch relay, but participants must reserve in advance to gain access.
The kick-off is planned for the J-Village in Fukushima, a football training center that served as the headquarters for the crisis managers of the worst-case scenario during the nuclear disaster in March 2011.
The Olympic flame lit in Greece had arrived on March 20 last year at a military base in the province of Miyagi.
There is little support for the Games among the Japanese population.
In a survey, around 80 percent had spoken out against an alignment in the coming summer.
Despite the skepticism and the global corona pandemic, those responsible for the Olympics are sticking to the event.
Finally, they sent a so-called playbook to athletes, in which a process and hygiene concept is described.
Icon: The mirror
ptz / dpa / sid / Reuters