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08 December 2017, 01:48 | Henrietta Morgan
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Mascot Selection Panel said they reviewed over 2,000 entries from the public, and that they're striving to embody innovation and harmony with this year's selection.
The Yomiuri ShimbunThree sets of finalists for mascots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics were unveiled Thursday before a vote by elementary school children nationwide. Each proposal is a set of two characters - one for the Olympic games and the other for the Paralympics.
In the "B pairing", we have a half lucky beckoning cat and half inari fox character who was "born from the fire and soil that warm Japan".
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The mascots will be selected by school children for the first time in the games' history. There are about 20,000 elementary schools with about 280,000 classrooms nationwide.
As for Candidate C, the Olympic mascot features a fox, while the Paralympic mascot is inspired by a raccoon dog.
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics now less than a thousand days away, there's still a lot of preparation to be done, and one of the most important parts of the jigsaw that's currently being pieced together is the election of the official mascot for the Games.
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"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. The members include TV personality Shoko Nakagawa.
One vote will be allocated to each elementary school class taking part in the poll from Monday through February 22. Then the victor will be announced on February 28, 2018.
Schools must register to participate, and the organizers said that 4,150 schools were registered as of Thursday at noon.
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After being named by experts, the mascots will be officially announced from July to August.
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