Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Grand Start torchbearer Nadeshiko Japan, Japan's women's national soccer team, leads the torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture, on Thursday. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool via AP
tokyo 2020 olympics

Tokyo Olympic torch relay begins in Fukushima amid COVID-19 fears

46 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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46 Comments
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Poor Olympics...

Poor athletes...

Poor us....

The one event that brings the world together...

So sorry

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Pathetic!

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Amid fears!, crisis management 101 if there are fears cancel it.

“The power of sports is something that can be delivered to not only Japan but to the world,” Sasaki said. 

Except the world are banned from attending? So it’s a Japanese sports event, sausage and rice bentos.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

It will be a spectacle that can be viewed and enjoyed all over the world.

Time to snap up a monster size TV.

-23 ( +3 / -26 )

This is perfect for Japan. The Japan Olympics. Now, Japan can win a sport!

12 ( +17 / -5 )

The one event that brings the world together...

only the world is not allowed in..

27 ( +28 / -1 )

I drove by J Village every day on my way to work at Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant. Back when the World Cup was held in Japan, J Village was used as a training facility for the Argentine (I think) National Team. Right before the team was to arrive, a couple of their countrymen flew to Japan and travelled north from Narita to watch them and were quickly arrested when a local phoned the police to report "soccer hooligans" in town. The pair were quickly released when it was realized that these polite and friendly fans posed no danger.

Good thing there won't be any overseas visitors in Fukushima this time ...

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Checked to radiation levels at J village at the end of 2019. The walk from the station to the stadium was just slightly above normal. 100meters off the main road was four time human acceptable level.

@dirk. Take care, the earthquakes are increasing...

0 ( +8 / -8 )

These two companies should be getting hell from the press for what they are pushing on Japan & its PEOPLE!!

Toyota and Coca-Cola

Along with the IOC & NBC, what these corporations are doing wrt to these games is wrong on so so many levels!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Hula? How sad we are here in Japan..an obsession with Hawaii!??

22 ( +24 / -2 )

WTH has Hula got to do with Japan? Stop appropriating other cultures and showcase your own dances.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

hope the relay will bring some smiles back to the people of Fukushima. Great place to visit

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The hula dancers Japan........sorry, a MISTAKE, I get they are popular at this ""resort"" for some reason but they just dont belong, again mistake!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

World Olympics for Japanese spectators only. They should forbid TV stations from gaikoku to transmit the even for a full 100 Japanese Olimpics.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the relay has problems, if COVID-19 cases pop up and if there are delays, it could send up red flags about the feasibility of holding the Olympics." Here's how seriously it's being taken: Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee and a former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, is in charge of the relay and not a secondary department head.

No red flags will be allowed to appear, thats why Muto is there to control the information , J-Inc style.

WTH has Hula got to do with Japan? Stop appropriating other cultures and showcase your own dances." Sorry to break it to ya but Fukushima hula girls dancing tradition will be next in line to be listed as Japan,s Unesco cultural heritage:)

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Under extremely trying circumstances Japan is trying to make a go of this and as far as I can see the athletes around the world are getting ready and hoping for the best.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

COVID fears indeed

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It’s a slow motion train wreck, I want to look away but can’t?

shouldn't they be wearing masks?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japan is trying to make a go of this 

In NK, 60-80% of citizens AGREE with their govt.

in JP, 80% of citizens DISAGREE with their govt.

when you say “Japan”, who exactly do you mean?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I have to say that, after winning this bid with the emotional blackmail of the victims of Fukushima, then ignoring the area totally for years while all the juicy construction grift was getting siphoned into Tokyo, it’s really pretty sickening to see the poor people of Fukushima getting trotted out again for propaganda purposes. Support the shambolic Olympics, or you don’t care about the victims. In the meantime, pockets keep getting stuffed in NTT, Dentsu and smoky back rooms in Kasumigaseki.

No masks in any of these pics either – what happened, the victory over the virus we’re supposed to be celebrating?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This is a dream for them coming true,basically we will have super magnified Japanese sports day event where the local team will win a huge amount of medals and in the future annals will result as "Olympic medals".

What a farse.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I can see why there are some who have concerns about Covid during the torch-run - look at the picture of all these maskless women running with the torch!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The hula dance to start off a Japanese torch relay that is brandished as showcasing Japanese culture ? ?? Just when you think it can not get more ridiculous.

and where are the masks ? Not worn by the dancers nor the runners.

the virus will take the first podium in a few days. Madness, criminal madness

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Finger language interpreter was absent at the opening ceremony of the torch relay. Handicapped are also participating the torch relay. Prime minister Suga was questioned about it at the upper house by Hitoshi Asada. Suga said he did not know about it and promised him he will check it and explain to him.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Awesome! Spreading COVID as they run..no masks..smh

7 ( +8 / -1 )

An earlier , bigger vaccines order would have done more for the Olympics. lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They're doing Hula Dances to show Americans They come in Japan for the Olympics

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Basically a banzai charge at this point.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Hula dance, no masks. Our native culture and herd immunity.. Not!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The hula dancers Japan........sorry, a MISTAKE, I get they are popular at this ""resort"" for some reason but they just dont belong, again mistake

its ok. The banner STILL says Tokyo 2020. ANOTHER mistake!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Fans were told to social-distance along the roadside as the torch passes, and they are to refrain from loud cheering.”

What about loud booing?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This morning article title

virus rebound worries

This article title

amid COVID-19 fears

 

Again, an article title that associates covid with worrying words:

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One thing most people around me seem to agree on is that Japan has few cases because Japanese people are 'majime'.

My question is, what's 'majime' about organizing an Olympic torch relay during a pandemic with only a fraction of the population vaccinated? I'd like to separate the people from the government and corporations, but any perceived act of kindness of the organizers towards sportspeople from gaikoku serves as an argument that Japanese people are 'yasashii'. This means the average Taro does not make that distinction. Or maybe only when it suits the narrative. What do I know? The more news there is about the Olympics, the less sense everything makes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan's Super Spreader Event, has just started.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Fans were told to social-distance along the roadside as the torch passes, and they are to refrain from loud cheering.”

What about loud booing?

BRILLIANT!!!!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Grab the beer and pretzels, this wreck is gonna be fun to watch.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japanese citizen, living in the US for the past 20 years.... welcome home to your Olympics!

Non-Japanese Olympic event ticket holder, vaccinated and with a negative test result.... banned.

If Japan is not able to host an international sporting event, it should cancel it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

From now on I will be calling it FAKE OLYMPICS 2020. As there is nothing Olympic about it!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yawn for the torch relay.

The reason for the hula is that there is a well-known Hawaiian-themed spa resort in Fukushima with hula dancing shows. I think its Bubble era, but unlike the indoor beach in Kyushu, the world's largest indoor ski slope that is now Ikea in Funabashi, and various "Heidi Land" or "Gulliver Land" type theme parks all over inaka, the Hawaiian thing is actually still in business. I don't know how to put this in an inoffensive way, but let's just say the average Japanese viewer will associate gimmicky hula very strongly with Tohoku and may have zero other positive and non-disaster things they know about the area. Fwiw, even the best known food from the Tohoku area, beef tongue in Sendai, uses overwhelmingly imported beef.

This is not to say Tohoku is without charm or natural beauty, both of which it will have in abundance, only that gimmicks are much better at putting domestic tourist bums on bus trip seats.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When I think of the Japan, the first thing I think of is Hawaiian hula girls

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Great to see the football team there. Had the pleasure of seeing them (2012 version) in the London Olympics. Such a great match, even if they were beaten by the US team.

WTH has Hula got to do with Japan?

There's a strong Japanese diaspora in Hawaii.

I've enjoyed seeing the Okinawan Bon Dance on one of the islands, there.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

An attempt at trying to make the Japan Olympics look international. I could not believe it. So fake!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In better times, when the Doha Asian Games held their torch relay in Hiroshima, Japan; they brought along genuine Arab performers and dancers, representing their country. They did not include acts from other Asian countries, even though they were attending. They were almost outnumbered by the oyajis from the Japan Olympic Committee, local politicians, bureaucrats and officials from other sports bodies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What makes me feel sad about this picture is that the altherleates are ready to do there thing wether its running, jumping, cycling, etc, they have worked so hard every day and night for years to get the practice in to make them the best, the number one, and in there moment of glory, no one will be there to cheer them on, in the stadium, or to comisarate with them, not even ther wife, husband, farther, son or daughter, its kind of soulless and empty.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For those who wonder why Hula in Japan, I recommend a 2006 movie "Hula Girls". It has nothing to do with Hawaii. The movie is based on a true story about a dying coal mine town in Fukushima prefecture.

The movie won Best Picture and other awards in 2006. You can watch a trailer here:

https://asianwiki.com/Hula_Girls

You can also view a news clip from 1971 about the crisis and revival of the town.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIP2YneBZyQ

You will know how young daughters of coal mine workers have saved their town.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good to see members of the World Cup Champions, no matter the event or venue. Unfortunate, Homare Sawa is suffering from vertigo. But there, gathered, are: Ando, Miyama, Sameshima, Utsugi, Ohno Kaihori Maruyama, Iwashimizu, Sasaki and others. They only carried the torch for a short distance and handed off 'the flame' to the first runner. They were initially masked, but kept their distance on the short 'jog' to the roadway. They fully understand the circumstance, but are there to support the possibility.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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