Recruitment of torch relay runners for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics began on Monday in all of Japan's 47 prefectures, in which people can apply to become torchbearers regardless of gender or nationality.
The 2020 Olympic Games will start in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26 next year. About 10,000 torchbearers will run roughly 200 meters each in the Japan leg of the relay, which will pass through all 47 prefectures of the country and feature major landmarks, including World Heritage sites and areas devastated by recent natural disasters such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The torch relay in Tokyo itself will be held for 15 days from July 10 to July 24 next year, with approximately 1,200 to 1,300 runners. Among them, 165 runners will have been recruited publicly.
People of all genders and nationalities can apply to become torchbearers, as long as they were born before April 1, 2008, and have a connection with a prefecture in which they wish to run, according to organizers.