As Japan counts down the final month before the Olympic torch relay kicks off its 121-day journey across the nation, myriad issues remain unresolved for the Tokyo Games.

The relay begins March 25 in Fukushima Prefecture, from where the Olympic flame will be carried by thousands of torchbearers through all 47 prefectures before reaching the capital, where the opening ceremony is scheduled for July 23.

But what's normally a time of excitement and hope ahead of an Olympics will instead be held under the shadow of a pandemic and uncertainty surrounding the games.