RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: TOKYO 2020 CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER YUKIHIKO NONOMURA RECEIVING OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN AND HOLDING OVER TO FUKUSHIMA GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVE MAKOTO NOJI / NONOMURA MAKING SPEECH / NOJI AND NONOMURA POSING WITH OLYMPIC FLAME / NOJI MAKING SPEECH / NOJI SPEAKING ABOUT IMPORTANCE OF J-VILLAGE / LANTERN ON DISPLAY / CHILDREN PLAYING FOOTBALL AT J-VILLAGE
FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN (APRIL 1, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN ARRIVING AND BEING HANDED TO TOKYO 2020 CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER YUKIHIKO NONOMURA
2. NONOMURA PASSING OLYMPIC FLAME TO HEAD OF BUREAU OF CULTURE AND SPORTS FOR FUKUSHIMA GOVERNMENT, MAKOTO NOJI
3. NONOMURA AND NOJI POSING WITH OLYMPIC FLAME
4. NOJI PLACING OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN ON PEDESTAL
5. OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN ON PEDESTAL
6. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TOKYO 2020 CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, YUKIHIKO NONOMURA, SAYING:
"This is a (symbol of) hope for the world so that it can overcome the serious problem of the novel coronavirus and through the Tokyo 2020 Games, we will be able to celebrate the best of humanity."
7. TOKYO 2020 TORCH RELAY SIGN
8. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF BUREAU OF CULTURE AND SPORTS FOR FUKUSHIMA GOVERNMENT, MAKOTO NOJI, SAYING:
"We hope that by combining our efforts with people both in and outside Japan, we will be able to overcome the unprecedented difficulties the world is facing due to the novel coronavirus. Next year, we are sure that the Olympic flame which will depart from the J-village will be a flame of hope that will hold the strong message that all difficulties can be overcome and that this will provide a light of hope to many people."
9. NONOMURA AND NOJI POSING WITH OLYMPIC FLAME
10. OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN ON PEDESTAL
11. VARIOUS OF NONOMURA AND NOJI POSING WITH OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN
12. NONOMURA AND NOJI ARRIVING FOR MEDIA BRIEFING
13. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF BUREAU OF CULTURE AND SPORTS FOR FUKUSHIMA GOVERNMENT, MAKOTO NOJI, SAYING:
"J-Village is Fukushima prefecture's symbol of reconstruction following the the big earthquake and nuclear power station accident. This is the Grand Start (of the torch relay). I am very happy that we are able to show the Olympic flame here where it can be seen by everyone in the prefecture. "
14. VARIOUS OF OLYMPIC FLAME IN LANTERN ON PEDESTAL
15. EXTERIOR OF J-VILLAGE, JAPAN'S NATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE FOR SOCCER
16. SIGN READING (English) "J-VILLAGE NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER"
17. VARIOUS OF CHILDREN PLAYING SOCCER ON PITCHES
STORY: Tokyo 2020 organisers left the Olympic Flame in the hands of Fukushima prefecture on Wednesday (April 1), where the diminutive flame, housed in a lantern, will be on display for the next month.
The stilted and subdued ceremony took place at the J-Village National Training Center in Fukushima, originally set to be the starting point of the torch relay before the decision came to postpone the Games until next year following the coronavirus outbreak.
The Olympics will now run from July 23 to August 8, 2021 following a decision made by the International Olympic Committee and Games organisers last week.
On a day when the torch relay was supposed to be already a week in, the ceremony was understandably low-key, with only Tokyo 2020 chief operating officer Yukihiko Nonomura from the organising committee making the trip north.
The flame will stay on display in the J-Village until April 30, where it will be moved to Tokyo. Organisers have yet to decide where in the Japanese capital it will be displayed.
"This is a (symbol of) hope for the world so that it can overcome the serious problem of the novel coronavirus and through the Tokyo 2020 Games, we will be able to celebrate the best of humanity," said Nonomura to start the ceremony.
He then handed the Olympic flame to Makoto Noji, head of culture and sports for the Fukushima government.
The J-Village was chosen as the starting point of the 121-day torch relay, originally due to start on March 26, because it is a symbol of Japan's reconstruction following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The facility was used as a base to launch recovery efforts along the devastated coastline and has only recently been resurrected to its former glory as a centre for Japan's elite young soccer players.
(Production: Jack Tarrant, Yu Takito)