The Tokyo Olympic torch relay began on the 21st in Ehime prefecture.

The departure ceremony will not be held due to the spread of the new coronavirus, and the prevention of infection will be given top priority.

At the starting point, the Ehime Prefectural Paper Industry Technology Center in Shikokuchuo City, the departure ceremony was not held due to the spread of the new corona infection.

Even so, the runners wore masks and started at 8:30 am, and ran with applause from the people gathered along the road and quiet cheers and photos taken with their smartphones.

A woman in her 60s who came to cheer said, "I'm worried about the new corona, but seeing the torch relay made me feel a little better."

Kenta Takahashi, who was the first runner in the prefecture, said, "The torch was heavy, but I'm glad I was able to run. I was happy that my colleagues and grandparents from the company came to support me."

This time around 100 prefectural staff are assigned to each city and town to call for avoidance of crowding along the road.

The torch will then head west, passing through Kamijima Town, an island in the Seto Inland Sea, and arriving in Matsuyama City in the evening, but the relay in Matsuyama City has been cancelled.

The torch relay will give top priority to infection prevention, such as the ceremony at the goal point being unattended.