The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will start March 26, 2020, in the tsunami-affected prefecture of Fukushima, after the Olympic flame arrives from its ceremonial lighting in Olympia, Greece.
The torch relay will spend 121 days in Japan before ending at the Opening Ceremony on July 24, the earliest Opening Ceremony since the 1996 Atlanta Games (July 19).
As previously announced, the torch relay will visit all 47 prefectures of Japan with emphasis on the area affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
With the motto “Hope Lights Our Way,” it will visit the three prefectures most affected by the tsunami and earthquake (Fukushima (March 26-28), Iwate (June 17-19) and Miyagi (June 20-22)) for three days each.
More than 18,000 people died or went missing after a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have been eager to use the Games as a symbol of recovery from the 2011 disaster that hit Japan’s northeastern region including Fukushima, 150 miles north of Tokyo, where entire communities fled after meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.
In March 2017, Tokyo 2020 confirmed that some baseball and softball games will be held in Fukushima.
The torch relay will also spend 15 days in the Tokyo metropolitan area, plus three days each in the four prefectures hosting multiple Olympic events (Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama and Shizuoka).
More torch relay details, including regarding the specific route and start date in Olympia, will be announced later.
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