Osaka moves torch relay off public roads

NHK -- Apr 13
The Olympic torch relay leg in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, started on Tuesday away from public roads in a closed park course to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on public roads. It is instead being held on an approximately 3-kilometer route around the iconic Tower of the Sun at the Expo '70 Commemorative Park in Suita City.

The first torchbearer was Kabuki actor Kataoka Ainosuke, who is from Sakai City. Some 180 runners will carry the torch about 200 meters each. The Osaka leg will go on for two days.

The general public was not allowed inside the park. Each runner was allowed to invite up to four family members or other people as spectators.

A man who came to watch his sister run said he was worried about whether the event would be held. He said his sister looked happy and he's proud to have a family member become a torchbearer.

Osaka says the ceremony to mark the end of the relay in the prefecture will be simplified. It will be held without spectators and streamed online.


大阪府での東京オリンピックの聖火リレーが始まりました。新型コロナウイルスの影響で、公道を走らず公園内を回る異例のスタイルです。 - ANNnewsCH