Tokyo 2020: Bug-eyed Olympic mascot hopefuls unveiled

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The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced the final three candidates for mascots for the 2020 Games at a Tokyo elementary school on December 7. The elementary school classes' decision will be announced on February 28, 2018.

Each of the three finalist proposals is a pair of mascots, one each for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

So which pairing would you like to see become the official mascots for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics?

Proposal B pairs a character modeled on a lucky cat and an inari fox with one modeled on a guardian dog at a shrine.

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The third set of red and white characters with ribbons used as celebratory ornaments - a fox for the Olympics and a tanuki (raccoon dog) for the Paralympics - has been inspired by traditional fairy tales. "We made a decision 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.

It is the first time in the history of the Olympic Games that a mascot will be chosen by elementary school children. The members include TV personality Shoko Nakagawa. They were being narrowed down to three designs after being reviewed by a panel of experts and the final victor will be announced on February 28 next year.

Some 110 fourth- and fifth-year students at Kakezuka Elementary School participated in the December 7 event held by the organizing committee. Students from Japanese schools outside Japan and from Japan's global schools are also eligible to vote. The names of the chosen mascots are expected to be released in July to August of the same year.

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