The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will likely start at a soccer facility in Fukushima Prefecture that was used as an operational base for dealing with the 2011 nuclear crisis, sources with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.
The J-Village national soccer training center became a symbol of reconstruction in disaster-hit northeastern Japan after accommodating thousands of workers engaged in the cleanup at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, located some 20 km away.
First opened in 1997, the center partially resumed operations last July and is scheduled to fully reopen on April 20.
The Japan leg of the relay will begin on March 26 and travel across all 47 prefectures in the country over a period of 121 days.
The Tokyo Olympic organizers announced in July that Fukushima would be the starting point for the relay, in a move aimed at highlighting the country’s recovery from the nuclear disaster as well as devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.