Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai requested Tuesday that the torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics start from the disaster-hit city of Ishinomaki to symbolize the country’s recovery.
In a meeting with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike in the capital, Murai also called for having the torch travel through sites affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami to encourage the people there.
“Ishinomaki is a symbolic area devastated by the quake disaster,” said Murai, who also touched on the fact that the Olympic cauldron used for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics has been placed in Ishinomaki on loan because of construction of the new National Stadium.
Ishinomaki Mayor Hiroshi Kameyama, who also took part in the meeting, said he supported the idea to aid in the area’s healing process.
Koike responded that she hopes their proposal will be realized.
A panel consisting of members of the Tokyo Games organizing committee as well as the Tokyo metropolitan and central governments has been studying the possible route for the relay.
The route, set to go through every prefecture, is set to be announced in the summer of 2019.