The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced the final three candidates for mascots for the 2020 Games at a Tokyo elementary school on Dec. 7.
For the first time in the history of the games, the mascots are to be decided by election with each elementary school class in the nation having one vote to cast. The mascot pair that accumulates the most votes from Dec. 11 to Feb. 22, 2018, will become the representatives of Tokyo 2020.
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 elementary school classes' decision will be announced on Feb. 28, 2018.
Some 110 fourth- and fifth-year students at Kakezuka Elementary School participated in the Dec. 7 event held by the organizing committee. The total of six final mascots, candidate pairs A, B and C, were announced to wild cheers.
The committee held a public invitation for mascot designs in August, gathering a total of 2,042 entries. 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.
According to the organizing committee, as of Dec. 6, a total of 3,655 elementary schools have registered ahead of time wishing to participate in the mascot election, covering schools all over Japan and even Japanese schools abroad. In addition, over 49 local governments have announced that they are having all the schools in their jurisdiction participate in the vote.
To read the profiles of the mascot candidates, visit https://tokyo2020.jp/en/special/mascot/ and click on each pair.