Tokyo Olympic torch relay plans to kick off in one month

The torch relay for the postponed Tokyo Olympics is to start in a month, which should be a sign that the troubled Olympics are on track to begin on July 23.

It was at this stage at the start of the torch relay just under a year ago — just after the Olympic flame arrived from Greece — that the Olympics were postponed because of the coronavirus. Organizers on Thursday read out a list of rules regarding health measures for the 10,000 torchbearers and others who are to take part, including fans. They also cautioned that changes to the route or runners could come without much notice.

“No shouting, no cheering. Please cheer by clapping your hands and maintain appropriate distance in case there is overcrowding,” Yukihiko Nunomura, the vice director general or the organizing committee, told a briefing. Torchbearers will be allowed to run without wearing a mask, but all others are required to wear one. The relay begins on March 25 from the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima and will crisscross the country. It ends on July 23 at the opening ceremony in the National Stadium in Tokyo. Fukushima is the part of Japan that was heavily damaged on March 11, 2011, by an earthquake, tsunami and the meltdown of three nuclear reactors.