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Olympic Flame Arrives in Japan

December 23, 1997

TOKYO (AP) _ The Olympic flame for the 1998 Nagano Winter Games arrived in Tokyo from Greece today for a 7,000-runner relay around Japan ahead of the opening ceremony in February.

The flame, which burned in special canisters during the flight from Athens, was transferred to a lantern marked with the Olympic five rings after its arrival.

The flame will burn in a cauldron for display at the Ginza and Shibuya shopping districts in Tokyo starting Saturday. It will then be used to light the torch for the relay beginning Jan. 6. The Winter Games begin Feb. 7.

The flame was kindled Friday at the ancient birthplace of the games in Olympia, Greece. But rain and near freezing temperatures had the women dressed as high priestesses shivering during the ceremony.

Midori Ito, Albertville figure skating silver medalist, will be the final torch-lighter at the opening ceremony, which will also include sumo wrestlers, long-distance runners, dancing children and Seiji Ozawa conducting Beethoven’s Ninth.

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