Tokyo 2020 announced this week that the Olympic Flame will be on display in the three prefectures that were hit hardest in the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami: the Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.
According to Tokyo2020.org:
“The planned display is based on the concept that the Olympic Games should aid reconstruction in disaster-hit areas of Japan. It will align with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay concept “Hope Lights Our Way” in what will be the tenth year since the Great East Japan Earthquake.”
The flame, which will be ignited in Greece, will spend two days total in each of the three prefectures, from March 20-25. The Torch Relay will begin on March 26th and pass through a total of 47 Japanese prefectures over a 121-day span.
The flame, which will be lit in Greece, will arrive at Matsushima Airbase in Miyagi on March 20th, and then be displayed at Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Recovery Memorial Park, which commemorates the 400 inhabitants of the Minamihama district of Ishinomaki city that were lost during the 2011 tsunami.
Following Miyagi, the flame will be taken to Iwate, where it will be displayed aboard Sanriku Railway line and the SL Ginga Steam Locomotive Express. After Iwate, the flame will be displayed at the Fukushima Station East Exit.
The East Exit, which is located in the center of the city, is home to the Azuma Gymnasium, which became a support base for approximately 110,000 survivors in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami. Next, the flame will go to the Aquamarine Park in Iwaki city, which was devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Per Tokyo2020.org, the daily schedule leading up to the beginning of the Torch Relay is as follows:
- Friday 20 March The flame will arrive from Greece at Matsushima Airbase in Miyagi prefecture. It will be displayed at Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Recovery Memorial Park, Ishinomaki city, Miyagi prefecture
- Saturday 21 March Sendai Station East Exit, Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture
- Sunday 22 March On board the SL Ginga Steam Locomotive Express, operated by Sanriku Railway (between Miyako, Kamaishi and Hanamaki stations, Iwate prefecture)
- Monday 23 March Kyassen Ofunato retail and entertainment complex, Ofunato city, Iwate prefecture
- Tuesday 24 March Fukushima Station East Exit, Fukushima city, Fukushima prefecture
- Wednesday 25 March Aquamarine Park, Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture
- Thursday 26 March Japanese leg of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay starts from J-Village, located in the town of Naraha and Hirono, Fukushima prefecture