Tokyo Olympic torch relay should go through Fukushima, official says
The governor of Fukushima, the site of 2011 nuclear plant meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami, wants the 2020 Olympic torch relay to visit the disaster-struck region 155 miles north of the Olympic host Tokyo.
“We wish to have a torch relay here so that the status of our reconstruction can be conveyed accurately,” Yuhei Sato said Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse.
Sato made the proposal to the head of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, who said the request will be considered, according to reports.
The Fukushima meltdowns were a cause of concern as Tokyo bid for the 2020 Olympics last year. It won an International Olympic Committee vote over Istanbul and Madrid and will host its second Games, 56 years after its first.
In the question-and-answer session at the IOC session, Tokyo organizers were asked about a recent leak of radiation-contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear plant. It marked the fifth and largest leak from the plant damaged by the 2011 tsunami. There remain concerns over possible radiation effects.
“Let me assure you the situation is under control,” Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said in September. “It has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”