Tokyo Unveils Three Shortlisted Mascot Designs for 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The three pairs will be known as candidates A, B and C until then.

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) on Thursday unveiled a shortlist of mascots that will be voted in the coming months by school children.

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.

After a bungled rollout of the official Olympic logo that led to it being scrapped following accusations of plagiarism, local organisers have left the selection of the Tokyo 2020 mascots in the hands of schoolchildren. The elementary school classes' decision will be announced on February 28, 2018.

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.

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Some 110 fourth- and fifth-year students at Kakezuka Elementary School participated in the December 7 event held by the organizing committee.

A competition was launched in August to find a new design and they received more than 2,000 entries.

These animals are believed to bring good fortune in Japanese culture.

TV personality Shoko Nakagawa, another member of the screening committee, called the student vote "historic" given that mascots were not used in 1964.

One vote will be allocated to each elementary school class taking part in the poll from Monday through February 22.

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