Olympic flame on display in Fukushima despite coronavirus outbreak

The Olympic flame is slated to be on display through the end of April in Fukushima, which is in northeastern Japan. Officials held a “handover ceremony” with the flame on Wednesday at the J-Village National Training Center in Fukushima.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers are planning to limit crowd size. The general public will be able to view the Olympic flame, but access is going to be limited.

The flame arrived in Japan on March 20 after making its way from Greece, and the torch relay was slated to begin last week. Currently, it’s unclear where the flame will be headed next since the 2020 Olympics were postponed until next summer.

“After this, nothing has been decided yet,” Tokyo organizing committee chief operating officer Yukihiko Nunomura told The Associated Press. “We have to consider the coronavirus situation and such, but I think for now the basic assumption is that it will return to the host city of Tokyo.”

The Olympic flame was placed in Fukushima in an attempt to help the area recover following a horrific 2011. During that year, an earthquake, tsunami, and meltdown of three nuclear reactors devastated the area. The region’s 47,000 residents were forced to evacuate during the nuclear disaster.

The 2020 Olympics have been rescheduled to begin on July 23, 2021, and will still take place in Tokyo.

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