Greece hands Olympic flame over to Japan amid calls to delay 2020 Games

ATHENS, Greece (AP/CNN) – Greece has officially handed over the Olympic flame to Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

It was handed over during a ceremony in Athens on Thursday. The Olympic flame is set to arrive in Japan from Greece even as the opening of the Tokyo Games is in doubt.

As of right now, the games are still on. However, more voices are calling for the games to be postponed or canceled.

A board member of the Japan Olympic committee said Thursday that the Olympics should be postponed. He stated that athletes have been unable to adequately prepare as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organizers have repeatedly insisted that the games will run as scheduled in July and August.

The flame will touch down Friday in northern Japan aboard a white aircraft painted with the inscription “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay” along its side.

Everything about the arrival ceremony at the Matsushima air base will be subdued.

The flame will stay in northern Japan for almost a week until the torch relay begins officially on March 26 from northern Fukushima prefecture.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media, Inc. contributed to this report.