Olympic Flame Lands in Japan as Doubts Grow Over Tokyo Games
MATSUSHIMA AIR BASE, Japan (AP) — The Olympic flame has arrived in Japan from Greece and was greeted in a scaled-down ceremony at an air base in northern Japan.
The flame touched down amid doubts if the Tokyo Games can open as scheduled on July 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers and the IOC say it will, but postponement or cancellation are increasingly viewed as options.
The flame reached Japan aboard a white aircraft painted with the inscription “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay” along its side.
The flame will stay in northern Japan for almost a week until the four-month torch relay begins officially on March 26 from the northern Fukushima prefecture.
This is the northeastern part of Japan that is recovering after being devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of three nuclear reactors.