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2020 Olympic torches to be made of recycled aluminum from Fukushima temporary housing

Kyodo

Recycled aluminum from temporary housing in disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture is expected to be used in the crafting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic torches, sources have said.

The plan, revealed Monday, is likely to attract interest in Japan and abroad as being another symbolic effort to uphold one of the main themes of the July 24-Aug. 9 Summer Games as a “reconstruction Olympics.”

Fukushima Prefecture was devastated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster.

More than 10,000 pieces of aluminum are expected to be needed for the torches, used by runners in the nationwide relay beginning after the Olympic flame arrives in Japan from Greece on March 20, 2020.

According to sources, organizers will need to coordinate with local governments in order to determine which metals can be procured from temporary housing no longer in use.

Tokyo 2020 organizers are also collecting metals from used electronics handed in by consumers nationwide to forge the approximately 5,000 medals to be awarded at the games. Organizers said in October they had reached their target for bronze medals.

The “flame of reconstruction” will first be displayed in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, the three hardest hit by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large portion of the Tohoku region.

The Japan leg of the relay will begin in Fukushima on March 26, and will travel across all 47 prefectures nationwide over a period of 121 days before arriving in Tokyo for the opening ceremony.

The design of the torch, which has already been approved by the International Olympic Committee, will be announced next spring.