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2020 Olympic torches to be made of recycled aluminum from Fukushima

Recycled aluminum from temporary housing in Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, is planned to be used in the crafting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic torches, sources close to the matter revealed.

The plan is likely to attract interest in Japan and abroad as being another symbolic effort to uphold one of the main themes of the July 24-Aug 9 Summer Games as a “reconstruction Olympics.”

More than 10,000 pieces of aluminum are expected to be needed for the torches, used by runners in the nationwide relay beginning after the Olympic flame arrives in Japan from Greece on March 20, 2020.

According to sources, organizers will need to coordinate with local governments in the future in order to determine which metals can be procured from temporary housing that is no longer in use.

Tokyo 2020 organizers are also collecting metals from used electronics handed in by consumers nationwide to forge the approximately 5,000 medals to be awarded at the Games, and said in October they had reached their target for bronzes.

The “flame of reconstruction” will first be displayed in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, the three most affected by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large part of northeastern Japan.

The Japan leg of the relay will begin in Fukushima on March 26, and will travel across all 47 prefectures of the country over a period of 121 days before arriving in Tokyo for the opening ceremony.

The design of the torch, which has already been approved by the International Olympic Committee, will be announced next spring.

This article first appeared at Japan Today