— Published 15 April 2021

A second city erased from the flame’s route

Trouble continues for the Olympic Torch Relay at the Tokyo Games. After Osaka, where the route has been diverted from its initial route over the past two days, a second Japanese city is partially wiped off the map. According to a local elected official, the torch will no longer pass through Matsuyama, in western Japan, due to the risk of infection. “We are going to cancel the Olympic torch relay in Matsuyama“, said Tokihiro Nakamura, governor of Ehime Prefecture, of which Matsuyama is the capital. “We will celebrate the arrival of the flame in a way that does not involve an audience”. The route will avoid the main streets, to be reduced to crossing a park, closed for the occasion to anyone outside the relay. The governor explained, to justify his request to the organising committee, that the medical services of his prefecture were currently under pressure due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, and therefore could not support a new effort to ensure safety of the passage of the flame. He also said that the organisers of the Games had accepted his decision. The torch relay is scheduled to pass through Matsuyama on April 21th. It should normally involve 27 torchbearers.