Olympic flame removed from public display in Fukushima

The Olympic Flame was put on public display at the J-Village National Training Center in Fukushima, Japan, after officials held a “handover ceremony.” But on Tuesday, the flame was removed from public display due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was slated to be on display through the end of April in Fukushima, which is in northeastern Japan. While the Olympic flame was on display, access was limited due to the COVID-19 virus.

The flame originally arrived in Japan on March 20 after making its way from Greece, and the torch relay was slated to begin March 26. It’s expected to remain in Japan until the Olympics get underway next summer.

“After this, nothing has been decided yet,” Tokyo organizing committee chief operating officer Yukihiko Nunomura told The Associated Press on April 1. “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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