The Olympic Torch is heading for Okinawa, where it will take place in restricted areas without spectators ©Tokyo 2020

The Olympic Torch is now on a two day "transit" journey way to Okinawa.

This is the place where the 1964 Relay first arrived in the Japanese islands, but already officials have announced that, "The Okinawa prefectural task force officially requested Tokyo 2020 not to stage the Olympic Torch Relay on public roads on the main island of Okinawa and to hold it instead in restricted areas without spectators."

This decision will affect some 200 runners, but the Torch Relay planned on public roads on the Okinawa islands of Ishigaki, Miyakojima and Zamami is expected to take place.

COVID-19 outbreaks have already forced changes to the Relay which has now visited 17 Japanese Prefectures in its first month.

Earlier in the month, it was switched to the "Expo 70" Commemorative Park on both days of its scheduled visit to Osaka, and then last week in Matsuyama it was conducted in the Matsuyama-Jo Park without spectators.

Last week, it was widely reported that a policeman had tested positive for COVID-19 after duty on the Torch Relay in Kagawa Prefecture.

Throughout its progress has been carefully monitored by a Torch Relay task force. 

Although organisers also had contingency plans for the weather, for the most part, blue skies and sunshine have been the norm.

It has also emerged that the Relay is being closely monitored by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

He singled out 109-year-old Shigeko Kagawa, who carried the Flame two weeks ago.

"I was deeply touched." said Bach. 

"Maybe it is not the right moment, but I really hope I will have, one day, the opportunity to meet her, to see her and to congratulate her and to thank her for this wonderful engagement."

The 104-year-old Shitsui Hakoishi, a barber and hairdresser, also carried the Torch last month.

IOC President Thomas Bach has revealed he was
IOC President Thomas Bach has revealed he was "deeply touched" when 109-year-old Shigeko Kagawa carried the Olympic Torch ©Tokyo 2020

The 118-year-old Kane Tanaka, the world’s oldest citizen, is also scheduled to take part in the Relay when it reaches her hometown of Shime on May 11, though her participation will depend on weather conditions and her health on the day.

As it travelled through Kagoshima, Ayane Iwashita retraced the steps taken by her late grandfather when he carried the Flame in 1964. 

She is a pupil at the same school attended by her grandfather.

The 1991 marathon world champion Hiromi Taniguchi carried the Flame in his hometown of Nichinan three weeks after his own 61st birthday. 

He won his gold on home soil when the World Championships were held in Tokyo and competed twice in the Olympic Games. 

He has remained involved with the sport as a special professor at Miyazaki University, where he trains athletes.

The 18-year-old blind karateka Kaito Gotou carried the Flame at the shrine on Aoshima Island.

"Living in a world where I could not see clearly, I’ve been connected to the world via karate," he said.  

"Together with people around me, I am determined to move forward on this road."

Japan's national men's judo coach and Sydney 2000 half heavyweight gold medallist Kosei Inoue, now national coach, was the final bearer in Miyazaki.

In Beppu City, rhythmic gymnast Kotono Tanaka carried the Torch. 

She had competed in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and was team captain.