Three-time Olympic gold medalists Tadahiro Nomura and Saori Yoshida pose after lighting the Olympic Flame at the Olympic cauldron during a ceremony at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Base in Higashi-Matsuhsima, Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato
HIGASHIMATSUSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – An Olympic cauldron was ignited on Friday in Japan with a flame carried from Greece ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games, amid concerns that a coronavirus pandemic could disrupt the event planned this summer.
“We will do our utmost in preparing for a safe and secure event,” Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori said at the ceremony at the Matsushima air base of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces.
The officials would work closely with the International Olympic Committee, the government of Japan, the Tokyo metropolitan government, and take into consideration advice from the World Health Organisation, he added.
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka