Actress Satomi Ishihara, right, one of the Official Ambassadors of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay, poses with an acting torchbearer with the Olympic torch during a rehearsal as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay in Hamura, on the outskirts of Tokyo, on Saturday. Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
2020 tokyo olympics

Tokyo holds Olympic torch relay rehearsal

7 Comments
By Jack Tarrant

Japanese actress Satomi Ishihara performed the first torch handover of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay on Saturday during a rehearsal on the outskirts of the capital.

Ishihara's handover in Hamura City formed part of a dress rehearsal for Tokyo 2020 organizers, who mimicked three legs of the relay that will last for 121 days in the build up to the Olympics that begin on July 24. The torch also went to Kokubunji and Hachioji.

The rehearsal comes amid worries the coronavirus outbreak could throw cold water on the Games. Japan, among the worst affected outside China where the virus is believed to have originated, reported its first death from the virus on Friday.

However, organizers have said cancellation or postponement were not being considered and that the Summer Olympics would go ahead as planned.

At the dress rehearsal, hundreds of people lined the streets of Hamura to watch the event, which was complete with sponsorship floats and a heavy security presence as Tokyo 2020 organizers looked to iron out any issues.

"There are many purposes of the rehearsal," Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya told Reuters. "Today's rehearsal is focused on the entire operation. This will be the first and last time we do it."

"We want to check every aspect of it (the rehearsal) so we see this as an important opportunity."

The torch relay begins in Fukushima on March 26 and will visit all 47 of Japan's prefectures ahead of the July 24 opening ceremony.

Members of the Japan team who won the 2011 women's soccer World Cup will start the Japan leg after the Olympic flame arrives from Greece before approximately 10,000 other torchbearers carry on the tour.

The relay is due to pass many of Japan's most iconic landmarks over the 121-day journey, including Mount Fuji, Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park and Kumamoto Castle.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
Login to comment

crazy that they think the olympics will still be held in summer given the virus is spreading rampant and unchecked throughout Japan...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Where theres a will, theres a way. I think they can do it somehow.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Do you hear the hate?

The anti-Japan crowd would love for the Olympics to be canceled, to be a failure, for issues to happen once the games begin.

The greatest contribution Japan can make in 2020 is not cool gadgets, robots, flying cars showing off to the world... But fighting the coroavirus, finding a vaccine, standing next to an Asian neighbor who's should be helped in a moment of need instead of discrimination, racism, this has nothing to do with Hong Kong or Taiwan, it has to do with human decency, treating people the way we would want to be treated and helped.

The sooner we can contain the virus and find a vaccine the sooner we can resume and plan for the Olympics.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The greatest contribution Japan can make in 2020 is not cool gadgets, robots, flying cars showing off to the world... But fighting the coroavirus, finding a vaccine, standing next to an Asian neighbor who's should be helped in a moment of need instead of discrimination, racism, this has nothing to do with Hong Kong or Taiwan, it has to do with human decency, treating people the way we would want to be treated and helped.

well said... japan, postpone the olympics until next year and focus on clearing this virus out of your country and assisting your neighbors instead!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics - a time to celebrate the gift of life. Wishing the organizers, athletes, officials and fans a jolly good time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Olympics have never been cancelled except for World Wars. So I doubt very much, Japan will wish to be seen to be the first to cancel outside of those prior events.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hope all the torch runners wear gloves!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites