Olympic torch relay to start in Japan's Fukushima as planned

TOKYO:

Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto told reporters on Monday that the Japanese leg of the Olympic torch relay for the summer Games, scheduled to start from Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday, will go ahead as planned despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Hashimoto remarks confirming the Japanese leg of the torch relay came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hinted at the possibility that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games could be postponed this summer if they could not be held in their complete form, reports Xinhua news agency.

Abe's comments followed those from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) saying that it is exploring a number of scenarios amid the global COVID-19 pandemic including postponing the Games.

Canada, in another development, has said it will not send a team to the quadrennial Games to be hosted in Tokyo due to concerns over the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has also said that they could not assemble a team for the Tokyo 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and thus their athletes should prepare for Olympic Games which look all set to be played in the summer of 2021.