Tokyo Olympic organizers unveil torch for 2020 games

Tokyo Olympics organizers on Wednesday unveiled their torch for next year's games, playing off the image of Japan's famous cherry blossoms.
The cherry blossom is Japan's most-loved flower. Organizers said the image was picked because the torch relay will begin a year from now in March when Japan's cherry blossom trees are in full bloom across the country.
The flame will emerge from a five-petal configuration at the top of the torch. Organizers said the "torch and its emblem will feature strongly in the buildup to the games across the whole of Japan."
Aluminum construction waste from temporary housing built in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake was used to create it, transforming materials that witnessed the rebuilding of shattered lives into a symbol of peace.
The torch is also designed to depict the shape of a flame. The five flames generated from the petal unite at the center of the torch, lighting the way with greater brilliance. A number of technological innovations have been deployed in the combustion section that lights the torch, including catalytic reaction. The design's high tech can keep a flame burning in high winds and heavy rain.
The Olympic flame will be lit in Greece next March 12 and will travel through the three hard-hit prefectures before beginning its 121-day nationwide journey on March 26. With from 80 to 90 torch bearers per day, organizers are expected to prepare around 10,000 torches for the relay that will conclude at Tokyo's New National Stadium on July 24, 2020, for the start of the Olympics.

© AP/Kyodo
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