Japan's torch relay of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will kick off on March 26, 2020 at a soccer facility in Fukushima Prefecture that was stricken by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, president of the organizing committee Yoshiro Mori said Tuesday.
The move of selecting the J-Village national soccer training center as the starting point was part of the Olympic organizers' efforts to demonstrate the games as "reconstruction Olympics."
"It is important to help showcase the reconstruction to people in Japan and abroad. But I hope this will be some support to the people, who struggled so hard, to find new hope," Mori said, as Tuesday marked 500 days to go ahead of the Tokyo Games.
The J-Village national soccer training center is regarded as a symbol of the country's reconstruction from the natural catastrophe, as it served as an operational base during the nuclear crisis.
Located 20km away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the center sheltered thousands of workers engaged in the cleanup of the nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.
According to the organizers, the Olympic torch is expected to arrive in Japan on March 20, 2020 and will be carried to Ishinomaki Minamihama Tsunami Recovery Memorial Park in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.
The flame will be displayed in some cities in the three disaster-hit prefectures before the relay starts in Fukushima and travel across all 47 prefectures in Japan over a period of 121 days.
The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled to be held from July 24 to Aug. 9, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.