Governor: Torch relay in Osaka should be canceled

The Governor of Osaka says the Olympic torch relay should be canceled in the prefectural capital, where he plans to implement stricter coronavirus measures to stem a surge in cases.

Yoshimura Hirofumi spoke to reporters on Thursday as the central government planned to designate Osaka Prefecture as requiring focused anti-virus steps for one month starting next Monday.

The designation would enable the governor to take anti-virus measures without a state of emergency declaration in specific municipalities in the prefecture.

Yoshimura said if the designation is made official, he will apply intensive anti-virus measures to the city of Osaka and ask residents to refrain from non-essential outings.

He also said he wants to start discussions with Osaka City and the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee to cancel Osaka City's segment of the torch relay on April 14.

But Yoshimura expressed hope that the torch relay scheduled for other parts of the prefecture on April 13 and 14 will go ahead as planned.