TOKYO – The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) unveiled on Thursday a shortlist of mascots that will be voted in the coming months by schoolchildren.
Three pairs of mascots were unveiled at an event in the Kakezuka school in central Tokyo, which was attended by the selection panel and some 116 students.
The first pair of mascots comes in the futuristic blue and pink representing the “tradition and innovation in Japan,” according to the members of the panel.
The second pair is in a more traditional style and represents the fire and the wind.
A fox and a raccoon, two very popular figures in the Japanese folklore, form up the third pair.
A total of 6.5 million Japanese children – from schools in the country and abroad – will cast their vote between Dec. 11 and Feb. 22.
The chosen mascots will be announced after the conclusion of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February, with the selection panel subsequently deciding a name before a formal launch in July or August 2018.
The three final designs have been chosen from among 2,042 entries submitted from all over Japan.
The organizing committee unveiled the official emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in April 2016, after scrapping the initially selected logos over allegation of plagiarism.