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Olympics: Judging of 2020 mascot competition to be shown online

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The judging of the public design competition for the official mascot of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be broadcast online to ensure fairness and transparency, the games' organizing committee said Monday.

    It remains to be seen what phase of the selection process will be made public, said organizers, who could potentially receive thousands of entries for the competition, which will run from Aug. 1 to 14.

    The winner will be announced in March 2018, with elementary school children nationwide set to vote on the final design following layers of inspection.

    Three meetings during the selection process of the official games emblem were shown on YouTube and the streaming site niconico, drawing as many as 35,000 views, organizers said.

    Once the competition closes, 20 to 30 experts in mascot-related fields such as toys, animation, comics and video games will narrow the list of entries down to around 100, organizers said.

    From there, three to four finalists will be chosen by a 17-member selection panel before the children cast their vote in December and January.

    The design competition is open to Japanese citizens and foreigners with residency in Japan. The winner will receive a 1 million yen ($9,000) prize and an invitation to the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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