Tokyo 2020 torch relay to last about 130 days, organizing committee chief says

Kyodo

The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will require around 130 days, roughly 30 days longer than was requested by the International Olympic Committee, said Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee.

Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, Mori said it would take that much time to wind through the nation’s 47 prefectures. The IOC had asked that the torch relay be completed within 100 days.

“At this juncture we’re concerned with how to cover the entire Tokyo metropolitan region, from the islands to the Tama district,” Mori said. “I asked for a thorough examination.”

The organizing committee has set March as a deadline for a decision on the relay’s starting point and the number of days needed.

As for how those days will be allocated, one draft plan calls for emphasis to be placed on areas affected by natural disasters and areas outside of Tokyo hosting Olympic events. Those prefectures would be given three days each. Other areas outside of Tokyo would get two days each.

Organizers hope to announce the route in the summer of 2019. The lighting of an Olympic torch has been a feature of the modern games since the 1928 Amsterdam event, while the relay was created by Nazi Germany for the 1936 Berlin games.