A plane sent to bring the Olympic torch to Japan was left virtually empty amid the coronavirus crisis.
Tokyo is set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in July and August despite claims it should be postponed because of the outbreak.
Nevertheless, a Boeing 787 aircraft left Tokyo on Wednesday bound for Athens.
But a handover ceremony for the torch, scheduled for Thursday, has been heavily scaled back.
Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori and others did not fly to Athens, meaning there were only pilots and crew on board.