Mascot designs for 2020 Tokyo Olympics shortlisted

Children will choose from the three pairs of mascot designs shortlisted for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were unveiled on December 7 at Kakezuka elementary school in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward.

Voting by elementary schoolchildren will continue through February 22nd, with no votes being accepted from the general public.

BC-OLY-Tokyo 2020-Mascots, 138 Mascot designs for 2020 Tokyo Olympics shortlistedAP Photo XEH103, XEH101, XEH102Eds: APNewsNow.

The final pair in the running to be chosen as the official Games mascots is the "C pairing", with "the fox that jumped out from Japanese fairy tales" and the shape-shifting raccoon that transforms itself using the leaf on its head.

Proposal A is a pair of characters with an iichimatsu moyo checkered pattern.

From 11 December to 22 February, 6.5 million schoolchildren at every primary school across the country will be given the opportunity to review the shortlisted designs, with each class casting a single vote in favour of one of the sets. There are about 20,000 elementary schools with about 280,000 classrooms nationwide.

Which Tokyo 2020 mascot would you pick?

The Candidate B Olympic mascot is inspired by a "maneki-neko" beckoning cat and a fox, while the Paralympic mascot is created in the style of a "komainu" guard lion-dog. The members include TV personality Shoko Nakagawa.

Japan has hosted the Olympic Games a total of three times, but only the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and Paralympics adopted mascots, making this the first time Japan will be choosing Summer Games mascots.

The committee is still now accepting participating schools. Repeatedly checking the parameters for the design and having the works examined by experts, the three pairs were narrowed down after making sure they did not violate any intellectual property rights such as trademarks.

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