Olympics-Shimane prefecture mulls pulling out of torch relay -Kyodo

TOKYO, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Japan’s Shimane prefecture is considering pulling out of the Olympic torch relay due to its dissatisfaction with the central government and Tokyo’s handling of COVID-19 containment measures, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.

The possible boycott of the high-profile event marks the latest setback for the Games, which have already been marred by an unprecedented delay, strong public opposition, and the recent resignation of Yoshiro Mori, the head of the Tokyo organising committee, over sexist remarks.

The Shimane government will hold a committee meeting about the torch relay on Wednesday, followed by a news conference by Governor Tatsuya Maruyama, a prefectural official said.

The Tokyo Olympics torch relay is scheduled to start in Fukushima, in northeastern Japan, on March 25 and travel through all 47 prefectures over 121 days. Shimane is set to host the event on May 15-16.

Olympics organisers have said the Games would go ahead despite the ongoing pandemic while opinion polls have persistently shown the majority of Japanese oppose holding the event this year. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim/Peter Rutherford)