OREANDA-NEWS. The Olympic Torch Relay started from Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday, March 25. This was reported by the Japanese TV company «NHK».

About 10.000 runners will take turns carrying the torch through the country's 47 prefectures. «This little flame did not lose hope and — like cherry blossoms ready to bloom — waited for this day», said Seiko Hashimoto, head of the organizing committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga assured reporters, that the country's government is actively cooperating with the capital's authorities and the International Olympic Committee to hold the Olympics without disruptions in the context of the pandemic. «We will work towards ensuring the safety and reliability of the Games», he said.

The start of the Olympic torch relay was overshadowed by the launch of two shells in the DPRK in the direction of the Sea of Japan, which the head of the Japanese cabinet identified as ballistic missiles. The live broadcast of the relay was interrupted for a while a few minutes after the start. According to the organizers, this happened «for technical reasons», and later the broadcast was resumed.

The Tokyo Olympics were scheduled for July-August 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were postponed and will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.