Two weeks before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the flame has arrived in Tokyo. During a short ceremony at the Komazawa Olympic Park, Governor Yuriko Koike was presented with a small lantern containing the flame.
“We were able to overcome all these difficult circumstances with the help of people from all over Japan and the necessary ingenuity,” Koike said. “I am extremely grateful to everyone who made this relay a success.”
The flame was supposed to go through Tokyo in a relay procession until the opening ceremony. However, due to the corona vicissitudes, the organization has decided to refrain from preventing many people from coming together. So instead, every day is short ceremonies where the flame is transferred at certain points in the city.
In consultation with the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the organizing committee decided on Thursday not to allow an audience at all sporting events in Tokyo. Instead, the Games’ opening ceremony will be held on Friday, July 23, in a virtually empty Olympic Stadium. Lighting the flame in the stadium is traditionally one of the highlights of the ceremony.
The Olympic flame was lit traditionally in Greece and arrived in Japan early last year. Shortly afterwards, the Games were postponed by a year due to the corona pandemic. The flame was first shown to the public for a while and housed in Tokyo’s Olympic Museum. The flame, seen as a sign of hope during this period, continued to burn all the time.
On March 25 of this year, the relay across the country started in Fukushima. After that, the flame swept through all regions of Japan, although public events were banned in many places due to corona concerns.