Olympic flame passed to Fukushima during low-key ceremony
Flame will stay on display in the J-Village until April 30th before being moved to Tokyo
Photographers surround the Olympic flame after the handover ceremony of the lantern containing the Olympic flame from Tokyo 2020 to Fukushima. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/ AFP via Getty
Tokyo 2020 organisers left the Olympic flame in the hands of Fukushima Prefecture on Wednesday where it will be on display in a lantern for the next month after the games were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The handover took place at a subdued ceremony at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima, which was originally set to be the starting point of the torch relay.
Only Tokyo 2020 chief operating officer Yukihiko Nunomura made the trip north from the organising committee.
“This is a symbol of hope for the world to celebrate the best of human beings through Tokyo 2020 after we overcome the serious coronavirus,” said Nunomura to start the ceremony. He then handed the Olympic flame to Makoto Noji from the Fukushima government.
The flame will stay on display in the J-Village until April 30th before being moved to Tokyo. Organisers have not yet decided where in the Japanese capital it will be displayed.
The J-Village was chosen as the starting point of the 121-day torch relay, originally due to start on March 26th, because it is a symbol of Japan’s reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.