Air Self-Defense Force planes belonging to the Blue Impulse precision flying unit practice using smoke to create the Olympic rings in the sky above Matsushima base in Miyagi Prefecture. (Video footage by Kenichiro Saito and Shigetaka Kodama)

HIGASHI-MATSUYAMA, Miyagi Prefecture--High overhead here, the Air Self-Defense Force’s Blue Impulse precision flying team has begun practicing drawing Olympic rings using smoke in the sky above Matsushima base.

On the morning of Jan. 17, several blue-and-white planes from the base managed to draw three white rings.

According to sources, plans call for drawing all five Olympic rings on March 20 when a ceremony will be held at the base to ignite the Olympic flame before the start of the torch relay in Fukushima Prefecture on March 26.

A Blue Impulse team drew the Olympic rings in the opening ceremony of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.