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Olympic torch to remain in Japan as 'a beacon of hope', says Tokyo 2020 president Mori

Video credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on March 24, 2020 - Duration: 03:59s

Olympic torch to remain in Japan as 'a beacon of hope', says Tokyo 2020 president Mori

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori says that the Olympic torch will remain in Japan as "a beacon of hope" following the postponement of the Games until 2021.

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Olympic torch to remain in Japan as 'a beacon of hope', says Tokyo 2020 president Mori

SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT YOSHIRO MORI AND TOKYO 2020 CEO TOSHIRO MUTO WALKING INTO NEWS CONFERENCE 2.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING: "We have agreed with (IOC) that cancelling the Games is not an option.

We feel ensuring safety and security for the athletes and the visitors is the most important thing.

Because the situation around the world is worsening, it's impossible to hold the Games from July 24, nor hold it within this year.

Therefore we have decided to postpone it." 3.

NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS 4.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING: "The Olympic flame will stay in Japan and be a beacon of hope for the world in this difficult times." 5.

JOURNALISTS AT NEW CONFERENCE 6.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING: "Prime Minister Abe has suggested to keep the flame in Fukushima.

We have discussed this after our meeting (with Bach) and decided on that." 7.

NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS 8.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 PRESIDENT, YOSHIRO MORI, SAYING: "The torch relay from the 26th (March) will not start.

We'll consider how to handle the situation.

We will cause a lot of inconvenience to all prefectures and areas that put a lot of effort in to the preparation but we hope they can understand.

A new schedule for the torch relay schedule will be considered in correspondence to the postponement of the Games.

We hope we can prepare for a grand start and have many people gather for it." 9.

NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS 10.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 CEO, TOSHIRO MUTO, SAYING: "We hope the schedule for the postponement will be finalised.

When the torch relay restarts, we hope to prioritise the runners we have now to run in the relay." 11.

NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS 12.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 CEO, TOSHIRO MUTO, SAYING: "We haven't decided on a decision (whether to refund money for tickets).

But we are looking for thoughtful ways for ticket holders and qualified volunteers.

But there's no doubt that the same sports events will be held.

But there may be difficulties because the dates are now different." 13.

NEWS CONFERENCE ENDING 14.

MORI AND MUTO LEAVING STORY: "The Olympic flame will stay in Japan and be a beacon of hope for the world in this difficult times," said Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori on Tuesday (March 24).

Mori was speaking at a press conference in Tokyo shortly after it had been agreed with the International Olympic Committee that the 2020 Olympics would be postponed for up to one year because of the global threat of coronavirus.

He went on to say that, at the suggestion of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the torch would remain in Fukushima until a schedule had been agreed for the Games which are likely to be held some time in 2021.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said that no decision had been made concerning refunds for ticket holders, but he added that they expect the same events will be staged when the Games do eventually take place.

(Production: Jack Tarrant, Akiko Okamoto, Mike Brock)

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