The Olympic flame is set to arrive in Japan from Greece even as the opening of the Tokyo Games in four months is in doubt with more voices calling for the event to be postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The flame will touch down Friday aboard a white aircraft painted with the inscription “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay” along its side, and “Hope Lights Our Way” stencilled near the tail section.
Everything about the arrival ceremony at the Matsushima airbase in northern Japan will be subdued. The flame is to be greeted by a few dignitaries, saluted by a flyover from an aerial acrobatic team — if weather permits — and then used to ignite a cauldron.
The burning vessel will be displayed in three northern prefectures before the official relay begins on March 26 from Fukushima prefecture.