TOKYO: The Tokyo Olympic flame, which had been kept in a secret place since the Games was postponed, has been put on display at the Japan Olympic Museum on Monday.
A simple ceremony was held by Tokyo 2020 organizers and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) to mark the opening of the public display, which will run from September 1 to November 1.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori was confident that the torch relay and the Games will take place despite concern over a second wave of COVID-19 across the country.
"The flame will be carried in turns by about 10,000 torchbearers next year; we will use it to ignite the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony and ensure the Tokyo 2020 Games are a great success. We will continue to work closely with all concerned parties to prepare for a safe and secure Games."
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it confirmed 100 new cases of coronavirus infection on Monday, which means that the daily tally in the Japanese capital exceeded 100 for seven straight days.
The monthly tally for August stands at 8,126, surpassing July's 6,466, Japanese state broadcaster NHK said.
JOC President Yasuhiro Yamashita said the display will boost the confidence of all athletes around the world.
"I understand that the athletes aiming to participate in next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games are training amidst concern about the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am confident that the display of the Olympic flame in Japan will be a heartening symbol for them. I look forward to many people being able to see the Olympic flame when it opens to the public tomorrow."
The Olympic flame, which was lit in Olympia, Greece, on March 12, arrived in Japan on March 20 for a torch relay originally scheduled to kick off on March 26 at the J-Village National football center in Fukushima but was called off after the postponement of the Olympic Games.
Local reports said last week that Tokyo Olympic organizers will try to preserve the torch relay schedule developed for 2020 to be used in next year's postponed Games, which means that the relay will still last 121 days and traverse all 47 prefectures.