Plan to send Japanese students to Greece for torch relay canceled over virus concerns


The city of Inazawa, Aichi Prefecture, said Thursday it has canceled its plan to send junior high school students to take part in the Greek leg of the 2020 Olympics torch relay on March 12 due to concerns over the new coronavirus.

Eighteen students had been expected to travel to Greece as part of a cultural exchange with Olympia, a sister city with Inazawa since 1987. Students from Olympia are planning to take part in the Japanese leg of the relay on April 6.

As concerns over the virus continue the mount, the Tokyo Games organizing committee has reduced the size of the Japanese delegation participating in the March 12 torch-lighting ceremony in Olympia.

Organizers are also considering downsizing the Japanese leg of the torch relay, set to begin on March 26 from the J-Village soccer training center in Fukushima Prefecture, with procedures to vary depending on the status of infection in each location.

Inazawa sent students to participate in the relays of the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 and the last four Summer Games. The city was planning to send double the amount of students it sent for the torch relay at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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