It was earlier speculated on whether Tokyo Summer Games 2021 will be executed as per the scheduled date or not but a ray of hope has arrived ahead of the marquee event as the Tokyo Olympics torch relay kicked off, a year late and without spectators, heralding a major step towards the start of the coronavirus-delayed Games on July 23. Olympic torch was lit at the J-Village sports complex in Fukushima, which served as a base for operations responding to the 2011 nuclear disaster. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto said she hoped the Olympic flame would serve as "a ray of light at the end of the darkness". The nationwide relay, like the Olympics themselves will be vastly different from previous editions, with spectators banned from cheering and kept away from the launch and first leg over coronavirus concerns. Fans will be able to line the route and clap as the flame traverses the country, borne by 10,000 runners and passing through all 47 prefectures before arriving at Tokyo's National Stadium for the July 23 opening ceremony.