The Japanese Olympic Committee unveiled the three finalists for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics mascot designs, while elementary school children across Japan will be the decision makers.
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. The elementary school classes' decision will be announced on February 28, 2018.
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"The first set is a pair of humanoid characters clad in the "ichimatsu" checkered pattern of the Games" official logo.
Proposal B pairs a character modeled on a lucky cat and an inari fox with one modeled on a guardian dog at a shrine. The mascot with the most votes will win. "Japan is also a mascot giant and the world's leader in creative fields ... and these designs showcase such mastery".
Doi, who takes lessons at a swimming school and wants to become an athlete, added that he was looking forward to watching Olympic competitors - especially those representing his favorite sport - compete in his hometown.
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It is the first time in the history of the Olympic Games that a mascot will be chosen by elementary school children.
TV personality Shoko Nakagawa, another member of the screening committee, called the student vote "historic" given that mascots were not used in 1964.
Some 110 fourth- and fifth-year students at Kakezuka Elementary School participated in the December 7 event held by the organizing committee.
The mascot design set that receives the highest number of votes will be announced as the victor on 28 February, shortly after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Worldwide schools in Japan, as well as Japanese schools overseas, will be included in the voting process.
The mascots' names will be chosen based on feedback from creative professionals and will be announced next summer.
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