A special charter aircraft has left Tokyo's Haneda Airport to collect the Olympic Flame in Athens, but has done so without a delegation from Tokyo 2020 on board.
Triple Olympic wrestling gold medallist Saori Yoshida and three-time judo gold medallist Tadahiro Nomura had been due to participate in tomorrow's handover ceremony in the Greek capital, but Tokyo 2020 made a last minute change as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.
The planned send-off event at the airport was very low key as the Boeing 787 aircraft, named "Tokyo 2020 Go" and painted in the livery of the Games, began its journey.
The plane is expected to land at the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens this evening, local time.
Tomorrow's handover ceremony is scheduled for 11.30am at the Panathinaiko Stadium and will be much shorter than originally planned, and held without spectators.
No announcement has yet been made about the identity of the Tokyo 2020 representative who will collect the Flame from Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos.
The aircraft will take the Flame back to Japan in a protective miner's lamp and is scheduled to land at the Matsushima Air Base in Miyagi Prefecture.
Here, another very low key ceremony will be held.
The displays of the Flame before the Relay begins on March 26 have been scaled back, as has the grand start in the disaster-hit region of Fukushima which will take place without fans.
Spectators will still be able to watch the Japanese leg of the Relay from the roadside but have been asked not to do so if they are feeling unwell.
Torchbearers will not be allowed to run if they have a high temperature and arrival and departure ceremonies for the Flame will also take place without an audience present.
Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto has described the scaling back as "heartbreaking".
The last time Tokyo hosted the Olympics in 1964, the Flame was also flown in a special aircraft called the "Spirit of Tokyo".
It made stopovers in many places en-route, including Istanbul, Beirut, Lahore, Delhi, Rangoon, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines and Taipei.
A typhoon briefly delayed its progress in Hong Kong before it finally landed in Okinawa.