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With waves, smiles and high fives - but no cheers - the Olympic torch relay set off on Thursday, beginning a four-month countdown to the postponed 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, the first ever organised during a deadly pandemic.
Earlier in the week, Japan announced its plan to release more than 1 million tonnes of contaminated water into the sea from the plant crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011 will start in about two years after filtering it to remove harmful isotopes.
Japan has argued the water release is necessary to press ahead with the complex decommissioning of the plant after it was crippled by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami, pointing out that similarly filtered water is routinely released from nuclear plants around the world.
The agency issued a tsunami advisory for up to a meter (3-foot) sea surge in parts of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. NHK national television said the tsunami might have reached some areas already.