The Olympic torch relay participation-the conditions to apply and how

2019-06-18 OTHERS

This post is also available in 日本語

The eternal flame is the symbol of the Olympics. In the case of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it has been decided that that the torch will be lit by solar power at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece.

After the 8-day relay within Greece, this will be taken over by Japan, and the torch relay will circle the whole country. The route, schedule, and uniform etc. for the torch relay has already been announced.
Official site: Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay

Torch relay schedule and route.

Fukushima J Village, the symbol of the recovery from the Great East-Japan Earthquake, has been selected as the start point from March 26, 2020. The relay will traverse all 47 prefectures over 121 days, focusing on the disaster-hit areas and world treasures.

The torch runners will run wearing the provided uniform. The uniform is white fabric with a red tasuki (sash)printed on it. As seen in Ekiden, the tasuki is something that leads to “feelings”. It is a perfect design for “Hope Lights Our Way”, the torch replay concept for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Do you want to be a torch relay runner?

Did you know that ordinary people, even if they are not athletes or Japanese nationals, can apply to be torch relay runners? The distance run by each runner is approximately 200m. It seems that it is enough if you are able to carry the torch safely by your own will. Where necessary, you can receive the support of a caregiver, and people in wheelchairs can also apply. You can also run with working dogs for the disabled.

Main conditions of application

  • Any nationality and gender will be accepted.
  • Applicants must be born on or before 1 April 2008.
    * The consent of a parent or guardian is required for those who will aged 17 or under on 1 March 2020 (the first day of the month in which the torch relay will start).
  • Applicants must have a personal connection to the area in which they wish to participate as a torchbearer.

Basic eligibility criteria

According to the official site, all people who have the Spirit of reconstruction and perseverance (mutual support), Tolerance to embrace diversity (mutual acceptance) and Unity experienced through the celebration (mutual enhancement) are eligible. Those who are active within a particular region or who have contributed to the recovery may be selected as a priority, though.

Method of application

Applications will not be accepted by the Tokyo 2020 organization committee. It is necessary to apply to one of the four companies who are Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay presenting partners, or the executive committees in each of the prefectures.

You have a maximum of five chances!

Each person has one chance at each point they apply to, so you have a maximum of 5 chances.

Application acceptance period and announcement of the winners

The start of the application acceptance period differs according to the application point. They are due to start gradually from this month.

The announcement of the winners will be from December 2019, so that is something for you to look forward to.

The Coca-Cola Company, JapanJune 17th – August 31st
Toyota Motors CorporationJune 24th – August 31st
Nippon Life Insurance CompanyJune 24th – August 31st
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT)June 24th – August 31st
Executive Committee of each prefectureJuly 1st – August 31st

Application requirements

The necessary conditions for application differ depending on the application point.

For example, in the case of the Coca-Cola company, which have already started receiving applications, there are the two stages of the “pre-screening” and “main screening”.


  1. Download the Coke On app.
  2. Save support points
    Support points can be saved by scanning the Olympic-compatible mark on Coca-Cola products, and purchasing Coca-Cola products from vending machines compatible with Coke On.
  3. Apply for pre-screening using the app
    Apply choosing the prefecture in which you wish to run and describing the reason you wish to run.

[Main screening]

  1. if you pass the pre-screening, you will receive an email within 3 to 5 weeks of your application.
  2. Enter the application form for screening and wait for the screening results.

Points to note

It is prohibited to make a private declaration or PR for the purpose of communicating a political religious message. Additionally, those in public office may not apply.

For details regarding the application requirements for torch runners and for other points to note after determining the torch runners, you should confirm the official site in advance.

The torch relay is not just for torch runners.

The torch relay is not just for torch runners and operational staff. People are needed to stand by the road and give their support. Even if you are unsuccessful in your application, we hope you can still provide your support for the torch runners.