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Each design set contains one mascot for the Olympic Games and one for the Paralympic Games. The Mascot Selection Panel reviewed no less than 2,042 entries, submitted by the public as part of an open competition.
The shortlisted designs were unveiled by schoolchildren at a special ceremony at a primary school in the Japanese capital.
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. International schools in Japan, as well as Japanese schools overseas, will be included in the voting process.
The mascot design set that receives the highest number of votes will be announced as the winner on 28 February, shortly after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
The Mascot Selection Panel will then decide on names for the winning mascots, which will be officially unveiled in July or August 2018.
“I am really excited that we are getting closer to unveiling our official mascots,” said Ryohei Miyata, the Chair of the Tokyo 2020 Mascot Selection Panel. “We decided to encourage children to participate in the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games by having them select the mascots, as our children represent a future that Tokyo 2020 wants to embody through the Games.
“We hope that many schools and classes will take this opportunity to help shape the Games,” he added.
Mascots are a popular element of modern Japanese culture. Tokyo 2020 aims to create mascots that embody the branding vision chosen for Tokyo 2020, “Innovation from Harmony”, which encapsulates the idea that innovation is best achieved when the old and the new of Tokyo and Japan come together in harmony.