The Tokyo Games organizing committee said Thursday they are considering simplifying the ceremonies celebrating the arrival of the Olympic flame along its route across Japan during the torch relay next summer.
Organizers intend to consult with each of the 47 prefectures aiming to keep only the basics of the relay intact, according to Yukihiko Nunomura, the chief operating officer of the organizing committee.
The organizing committee is in the process of reviewing its entire operating plan to streamline the games and cut costs. The Tokyo Olympics are set to open on July 23, 2021, after a one-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nunomura said organizers “must take firm measures to prevent crowding among spectators and staff” during the relay to lower the risk of infection.
The 2020 Olympic torch relay was originally scheduled to start in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26 and was set to go when the games were postponed two days earlier.
Since June 15, organizers have been exchanging views with national Olympic and Paralympic committees regarding preparations for the delayed games, and as of Wednesday had carried out talks with bodies from more than 80 countries and regions.
Nunomura said the bodies they spoke with expressed a “basic understanding” of the organizers’ policy, while some spoke up about preserving the integrity of the competition and ensuring adequate treatment of athletes.