A decorated boat used for a traditional festival dating back to the Edo period carries the Tokyo Olympic torch along a canal in Handa in Aichi Prefecture, on Tuesday. Photo: KYODO
tokyo 2020 olympics

Shimane Prefecture OKs Olympic torch relay after initial opposition

16 Comments

Shimane Gov Tatsuya Maruyama said Tuesday he will allow the Tokyo Olympic torch relay to go ahead, despite suggesting earlier this year that the event may be called off in the western Japan prefecture if the coronavirus situation does not improve.

Maruyama said he met with officials of the Tokyo Games organizing committee and requested that they set sound volume limits for sponsors' vehicles accompanying torchbearers during the relay's segment in the western prefecture on May 15 and 16.

In February, he hinted at the possibility of canceling the relay's section in the prefecture, which has confirmed far fewer coronavirus infections than the capital and many other areas of the country.

Maruyama was dissatisfied with the central and Tokyo metropolitan governments' handling of COVID-19 containment measures.

During a press conference on Tuesday evening, Maruyama said he had decided to allow the relay to go through Shimane because he understands the central government may also extend financial aid to restaurants in areas that have seen a smaller number of COVID-19 cases, which he had requested.

He said that going forward with his previous idea of canceling the relay for the Olympics, set to open on July 23, would not "bring anything positive" for restaurants and other related businesses in his prefecture.

Shimane Prefecture has so far confirmed about 290 coronavirus cases, while the cumulative number of infections in Tokyo stood at 123,350 as of Tuesday.

The organizing committee has asked roadside spectators to take sufficient COVID-19 measures amid concern over a resurgence of virus infections in the country, but some segments of the relay have been crowded with people since it started on March 25.

On Monday, the organizers for the torch relay in Osaka Prefecture formally requested the cancellation of routes going through its capital later this month due to a rise in coronavirus cases. The city of Osaka, along with some other areas, is now subject to quasi-emergency COVID-19 measures.

The torch relay organizers are considering having some 20 torchbearers run in a park in the city as an alternative plan to carrying it on roads where large crowds may gather, a senior official of the Tokyo Games organizing committee said.

The Tokyo Olympics torch relay started in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, a year late and without spectators, and will travel through all 47 prefectures over 121 days.

On Tuesday, it made its way through Aichi Prefecture.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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*“CASH” is* more important to Shimane than the Olympics. However, to get paid ‘a share of the Olympic pie’ and continued Central Government funding, they must ‘play ball’ and participate “without questions’.

*- “ The Shimane Governor, Maruyama decided to allow the relay to go through Shimane because he understands the central government may also extend financial aid to restaurants in areas that have seen a smaller number of COVID-19 cases, which he had requested.” -*

Nice political move for re-election IF the money eventually eventually comes to Shimane.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Life can go on! Great News! So Happy!

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

So a better title for this story should be. - Government ties Covid Aid to Shimane Prefecture allowing the Olympic Relay - because that is what it clearly says.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

During a press conference on Tuesday evening, Maruyama said he had decided to allow the relay to go through Shimane because he understands the central government may also extend financial aid to restaurants in areas that have seen a smaller number of COVID-19 cases, which he had requested.

Governor Maruyama getting in the true Olympic spirit here. One wonders if other prefectural governors on the planned route will jump on this Pork For Torch bandwagon.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

“ adjust the sound levels of the sponsors truck” great. Everyone is safe now.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Next time we read a post about how great locals are at social distancing , lets just take a look at this photo of an officially supervised" torch relay event.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Maruyama said he met with officials of the Tokyo Games organizing committee and requested that they set sound volume limits for sponsors' vehicles accompanying torchbearers "

Perhaps NHK could just "mute" their footage of the sponsors trucks since they also "muted" the inconvenient anti-Olympics protesters in Nagano yesterday.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

he understands the central government may also extend financial aid to restaurants in areas that have seen a smaller number of COVID-19 cases, which he had requested.

So free money for restaurants in areas with no State of Emergency and no reduced opening hours? Can't other people who've actually lost their income have some?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Life can go on! Great News! So Happy!

Very interesting take. You live in Shimane? If not, why would you care so much one way or the other?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

the reasoning doesn't make sense

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Traitor to all old people who live there. They are a majority. I often go there. Shame money is more important than lives, for America television rights.

virus so far kills old people.

great traitor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Watching Channel 4 news this morning - they were full-on Politpureau propaganda mode. "2020 plus one!", complete with authorised gestures was being rammed down our throats.

Full-throated applause, cute waves, joyous throngs of grateful citizens dutifully applauding the torch as it brought its healing rays through their grateful streets.

Real 1984 stuff. Doubleplus good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Outdoor fresh-air (and domed) events take place daily in the form of baseball/soccer in Japan. A torch relay winding through a prefecture is not going to be any more of an issue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Somebody got some brown envelopes!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That decision between shortened virus loads or shortened funds for the prefecture was finally an easy one...lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That boat makes us look so small time here in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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