The Japan leg of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic torch relay will start at a the J-Village soccer facility in Fukushima Prefecture that is considered a symbol of the country’s reconstruction from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said Tuesday.
With Tuesday marking 500 days to go until the Tokyo Games, Mori also announced the cities in three disaster-hit prefectures where the flame will be displayed before the relay.
“It is important to help showcase the reconstruction to people in Japan and abroad. But I hope this will be some support to the people, who struggled so hard, to find new hope,” Mori said.
After the torch arrives in Japan on March 20, 2020, the flame will be carried to Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Recovery Memorial Park in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which was devastated eight years ago.
It will then travel through Miyagi and Iwate prefectures by train, including one stretch by steam locomotive, before making its way to Fukushima.
The Japan leg of the relay will begin on March 26, 2020, and it will travel across all 47 prefectures in Japan over a period of 121 days. The lighting ceremony is scheduled next March 12 in Greece.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held between July 24 and Aug. 9, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.