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Olympic torch relay to start from J-Village

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee said Tuesday that the Olympic torch relay will start from the J-Village national soccer training center in Fukushima Prefecture.

The committee made the announcement on the day to mark 500 days to go until July 24, 2020, when the Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony will be held.

J-Village, which straddles the towns of Naraha and Hirono, once served as a base for dealing with the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that followed the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The torch relay will start on March 26, 2020.

After being lit in Greece, the Olympic flame is slated to arrive in the Air Self-Defense Force’s Matsushima base in Miyagi Prefecture on March 20, 2020.

The committee also picked locations in Miyagi, Iwate Prefecture, and Fukushima to display the flame before the start of the relay to support reconstruction of the three prefectures hit especially hard by the disaster.

The organizing committee took into account requests from the prefectures when choosing the event venues.

Contributing to reconstruction from the disaster through sports is one of the main goals of the Tokyo Games, said Yoshiro Mori, president of the committee. “I want the affected people to have hopes” for the future, he added.

The flame will pass on a route to be decided through all of the country’s 47 prefectures over 121 days to the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics.Speech

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