Olympic torch relay barred from Osaka city roads | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Olympic torch relay barred from Osaka city roads

4 April, 2021

TOKYO, AFP The Olympic torch relay will not be run on public roads in Osaka city given rising virus cases, the Japanese region's governor said Friday, but a cancellation has not yet been decided.

“We're sorry for torch relay runners, but we won't do the torch relay on public roads in Osaka city,” Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters.

“We'll discuss with the Tokyo 2020 organising committee if there are any alternatives,” he added. His comments came a day after he and the city's mayor called for the torch relay leg to be cancelled given a recent spike in Covid-19 infections in the region.

Japan's Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa expressed support in the morning, saying it was “reasonable” that the Osaka government has proposed cancellation as they need to contain the spread of infections.

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto told reporters Friday that the fate of the Osaka city relay leg was still being discussed.

We want “to come to a conclusion at our earliest convenience, but the discussions are still going on,” she said.

“Although we would like to make conclusions as soon as possible, we also need to be flexible so that we will be able to accommodate changing events that may come up.” The relay began on March 25 from Fukushima, with organisers hoping it will help build enthusiasm across Japan for the Games after a year-long delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.