It's been reported that Johnny's & Associates group TOKIO and actor Kubota Masataka have withdrawn from the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay. They were both set to run through Fukushima Prefecture.
According to their agencies, this decision comes as there was a conflict with their schedules after the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed.
Since 2000, TOKIO had developed a strong relationship with Fukushima through 'DASH Mura,' a segment of NTV's 'The Tetsuwan DASH!!' where they cultivated the land and did farm work across the prefecture. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, they had been actively supporting farmers whose reputation had been at risk due to the nuclear power plant disaster.
Meanwhile, Kubota played the protagonist in NHK's morning drama 'Yell' last year, which was based on the life of composer Koyama Yuichi from Fukushima Prefecture.
Reportedly, actress Kikuchi Momoko and Olympic athlete Chiba Asami have been selected as the new runners.