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Olympic torch arrives in Japan

world Updated: Apr 25, 2008 08:33 IST
AP
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The Olympic flame arrived in Japan on Friday for the next leg of the global torch relay amid tight security, with human rights groups expected to stage protests against China's crackdown on Tibet.

The flame arrived at Tokyo's Haneda airport for Saturday's Olympic torch relay in Nagano, site of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. Immediately after the arrival, the flame was whisked onto a bus that headed for Nagano under a heavy police escort.

At nearly every stop on its trek around the world, the torch has ignited protests against China's crackdown on Tibet in March. While Japan has refused entry to a Chinese security squad that has followed the flame elsewhere, it has mobilized more than 3,000 police officers for the Nagano relay, as groups including Amnesty International Japan and Reporters Without Borders have announced plans to protest at Saturday's relay, which followed the Australian leg.

After Nagano, the Olympic torch heads to Seoul on Sunday and then Pyongyang, North Korea on Monday.

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