Crowds again greet Olympic flame despite virus concerns

More than 1,000 people gathered on Tuesday to see the Olympic flame in Japan's northern city of Fukushima, defying calls from Games organizers looking to rein in a coronavirus pandemic that has fueled doubts whether this year's event will go ahead.

The flame arrived from Greece last week for a six-day tour meant to showcase the recovery of the areas worst affected in the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami before Thursday's torch relay, now scaled back because of virus concerns.

The calls for crowds not to gather on the Flame of Recovery tour went unheeded for a fifth straight day, with Tokyo 2020 organizers saying more than 1,000 people turned out to watch the lighting of a special cauldron from the Olympic flame.

"I don't think there's tension here, so I wasn't worried about coming today," one of them, 64-year-old Ritsuko Takano, told Reuters.

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