Olympic torch relay in Osaka cancelled


Olympic torch relay in Osaka cancelled
FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan March 18, 2021. Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool via REUTERS

In Summary

  • Osaka prefectural governor Hirofumi Yoshimura had sounded the alarm that a jump in new coronavirus cases in Osaka was raising fears the western Japanese metropolis was entering a fresh wave of infections that could become its worst yet
  • The prefecture, which had just emerged from a COVID-19 state of emergency a month ago, reported 599 new cases on Wednesday. That was a jump from 432 on Tuesday and near the all-time high of 654 set on Jan. 8

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday the Olympic torch relay scheduled in the city of Osaka has been cancelled amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

Osaka prefectural governor Hirofumi Yoshimura had sounded the alarm that a jump in new coronavirus cases in Osaka was raising fears the western Japanese metropolis was entering a fresh wave of infections that could become its worst yet.

The prefecture, which had just emerged from a COVID-19 state of emergency a month ago, reported 599 new cases on Wednesday. That was a jump from 432 on Tuesday and near the all-time high of 654 set on Jan. 8.

The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics was scheduled to go through Osaka prefecture from April 13-14.

“I think we need to have talks with the city of Osaka, but personally I think the torch relay in Osaka city should be cancelled,” Yoshimura told reporters, adding that he also wanted to have discussions with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee.

Tokyo 2020 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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