Japanese school students tasked with voting for 2020 Olympic mascot
The Tokyo organising committee says children will "play a key role in the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games". Source: Twitter/@Tokyo2020

Students across Japan have been given the very important responsibility of voting for the official mascot of the 2020 Olympics to be held in the capital Tokyo.

Voting kicked off in schools across the country on Monday, with students to decide which one of three pairs of mascot candidates is the best.

One mascot per pair is for the Olympics and the other is for the Paralympics.


Most of the mascots are cats, foxes and racoons: animals believed to invite fortune in Japanese culture.The final proposals have been shortlisted from a total of 2,042 design submissions from the public.

“All of these designs contain deep-rooted cultural and innovative motifs,” said deputy head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics mascot selection panel Yoshiko Ikoma as quoted by the Japan Times.

Source: Tokyo 2020 Facebook page

“Japan is also a mascot giant and the world’s leader in creative fields … and these designs showcase such mastery.”

Each class in all elementary schools across Japan will have one vote until Feb 22, 2019, organisers said, in a bid to make the selection process transparent and to get children excited about the Games.

“All (the suggestions) are very unique and I was really impressed,” said one 10-year-old student interviewed by the Japan Times. “I’d like to choose mascots that will be cute, powerful and that will give vigor (to participants and spectators).”

The official mascots will be announced on Feb 28, 2019.

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