MARI YAMAGUCHI and STEPHEN WADE
FUTABA, Japan (AP) — The torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics will kick off in Fukushima, the northern prefecture devastated almost nine years ago by an earthquake, tsunami and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors.
They'll also play Olympic baseball and softball next year in one part of Fukushima, allowing Tokyo organizers and the Japanese government to label these games the "Recovery Olympics." The symbolism recalls the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which showcased Japan's reemergence just 19 years after World War II.
But tens of thousands still haven't recovered in Fukushima, displaced by nuclear radiation and unable to return to deserted places like Futaba.
Time stopped in the town of 7,100 when disaster struck on March 11, 2011