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Olympic flame lands in Japan as doubts grow over Tokyo Games

The flame touched down amid doubts if the Tokyo Games can open as scheduled on July 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Credit: AP
A plane carrying the Olympic flame arrives before Olympic Flame Arrival Ceremony at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, Friday, March 20, 2020. The Olympic flame from Greece is set to arrive in Japan even as the opening of the the Tokyo Games in four months is in doubt with more voices suggesting the games should to be postponed or canceled because of the worldwide virus pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi — The Olympic flame has arrived in Japan from Greece and was greeted in a scaled-down ceremony at an air base in northern Japan. 

The flame touched down amid doubts if the Tokyo Games can open as scheduled on July 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers and the IOC say it will, but postponement or cancellation is increasingly seen as an option. 

The flame reached Japan aboard a white aircraft painted with the inscription “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay” along its side. 

The flame will stay in northern Japan for almost a week until the four-month torch relay begins officially on March 26 from the northern Fukushima prefecture. 

This is the northeastern part of Japan that was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of three nuclear reactors.

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