Beijing Olympic flame arrives in Tokyo
TOKYO (Xinhua): The chartered plane carrying the Beijing Olympic sacred flame landed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport at 6: 05 a.m. local time Friday from Canberra for its 16th leg of torch relay scheduled for Saturday in the central Japanese city of Nagano.
The flame was carried off the plane in a lantern at 6:10 a.m. local time by Li Binghua, vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of Olympic Games (BOCOG).
The Beijing Olympic Flame Delegation, headed by Li, received warm welcome on the parking apron by about 100 people mainly made up of diplomats from the Chinese embassy.
They waved Chinese and Japanese national flags, hold banners extending good wishes for the success of the torch relay and the upcoming Beijing Olympics, and showed their excitement with loud cheers.
Standing in front of the crowd were Chiharu Igaya, vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and an executive board member of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), Kenichi Chizuka, vice president and secretary general of the JOC, and Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai.
The delegation started their journey to Nagano after a very short photo session for press.
On Saturday morning, eighty torchbearers, including three Chinese, will run a 18.7-kilometer-long route covering most of the city's famous historical sites and modern landmarks. The event will last about three hours from 8:30 a.m. local time.
The Olympic flame, which was ignited on March 24 in the ancient Olympia of Greece, has finished 15 of all its 19 passing stops outside mainland China.