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The Olympic torch relay will begin its long journey through Japan this week even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Not only was the Greek leg of the relay canceled, public events during the early stages of the Japanese leg have been scaled back or eliminated completely to prevent the virus from spreading further. Nonetheless, the relay is scheduled to kick off in Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday after which around 10,000 runners are due to carry the torch through 859 municipalities across all 47 Japanese prefectures over the course of 121 days before reaching Tokyo in July for the opening ceremony.

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