The Japanese Olympic Committee received 2,042 applications for official mascot designs publicly solicited between August 1 and 14.
This morning, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee officially unveiled the three mascot finalists at an event held at an elementary school in Shibuya.
Voting by elementary schoolchildren will continue through February 22nd, with no votes being accepted from the general public. The mascot pair that accumulates the most votes from December 11 to February 22, 2018, will become the representatives of Tokyo 2020. Each proposal is a set of two characters - one for the Olympic games and the other for the Paralympics. There are about 20,000 elementary schools with about 280,000 classrooms nationwide.
The first final candidate set has an Olympic character based on a futuristic vision of the world, and decorated with a traditional checkered pattern to embody Japan's tradition and innovation.
The mascots will be selected by school children for the first time in the games' history.
So which pairing would you like to see become the official mascots for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics? The members include TV personality Shoko Nakagawa.
The schoolchildren will review the shortlisted designs with their classes casting a single vote in favor of one of the three sets. Students from Japanese schools outside Japan and from Japan's worldwide schools are also eligible to vote. The victor will be announced on February 28, shortly after the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games. To help aid them in their selections, the Committee has also released official videos, in both Japanese and English, introducing the characteristics of each mascot and the inspiration behind their creation.