Tokyo Olympic torch relay starts in Fukushima

The Olympic torch relay will start in Fukushima on Thursday, kicking off a four-month countdown to the Summer Games in Tokyo, delayed from 2020 and the first-ever organized during a global pandemic, VOA News reports.

Tokyo Olympic torch relay starts in Fukushima

Tokyo Olympic torch relay starts in Fukushima

STEPANAKERT, MARCH 25 , ARTSAKHPRESS: Some 10,000 runners will take the torch across Japan's 47 prefectures, including far-flung islands, starting from the site of the 2011 quake and tsunami that killed about 20,000 people, highlighting the government's "Reconstruction Olympics" theme.

The first section will not have spectators to avoid large crowds, and roadside onlookers elsewhere will have to wear masks and socially distance along the way as Japan battles the deadly virus and scrambles to vaccinate its people.

Casting a pall over the celebrations, North Korea on Thursday launched at least two projectiles suspected to be ballistic missiles, officials in the region said, the first such test reported since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga assured reporters in Tokyo the government was cooperating with the Tokyo metropolitan government and the International Olympic Committee to host a secure Games.