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Report: Stages of the Olympic relay are being removed from the streets of Tokyo

Some stages of the Olympic torch relay in Tokyo will be canceled from the streets of the Japanese capital for fear of the coronavirus spreading, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Tuesday.

Citing the Tokyo city government, Kyodo said the relay would not appear on public streets from July 9-16. Kyodo said organizers would decide on the format for the July 17th season through the July 23rd opening ceremony.

The season began in northeastern Japan in March. It had to take numerous detours, cut programs and at times was only operated in public parking areas in order to prevent the virus from spreading.


Tokyo is in a quasi-emergency state until July 11th, and the number of infections is increasing again. Tokyo confirmed 476 new cases on Tuesday, up from 435 last Tuesday. It was the tenth day in a row that cases were higher than seven days earlier.

Japan has attributed about 14,500 deaths to COVID-19, better than many countries but not as good as some Asian neighbors.

It is not clear what the alternative plans for the torch will be when it is removed from public streets in Tokyo.

Original plans called for 10,000 runners to cross Japan for 121 days and finish in the new national stadium on July 23.

The season is heavily sponsored by Coca-Cola and Toyota. Some suggested canceling the season to save money after the Olympics were postponed 15 months ago, but such plans were quickly abandoned.

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