According to Japanese TV channel NHK, a torchbearer did not notice he was running with the fireless torch as the previous runner did not succeed in transferring the fire. Accompanying personnel discovered the problem just before approaching the next transfer point, stopped the relay and relighted the torch.
It is reported that there was a strong wind that hindered the personnel from relighting the torch.
The fire also went out on Thursday — on the relay’s first day. The video of what happened provoked a broad reaction in social networks with some users seeing bad luck in such developments.
Japan decided to start the relay, which will last 121 days, in Fukushima Prefecture to symbolise the country's restoration after the 2011 earthquake. The torch is now passing through Iitate, a village damaged by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
According to the traditions, the Olympic fire was lighted in Greece in March 2020, then transported to Japan for the 2020 Summer Games. The relay was scheduled to start on March 26 of that year. However, two days before that, the International Olympic Committee announced postponing the games to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.