Record Japan medal haul boost for 2020: Tokyo boss

Record Japan medal haul boost for 2020: Tokyo boss

Of the more than 2,000 designs submitted to Tokyo 2020 organizers for the next Summer Olympic and Paralympic mascots, the candidates had been narrowed down to just 3 pairings.

The mascots will greet visitors to the 2020 Games and help spread the Olympic and Paralympic spirit, it said.

"I thought that something combining futuristic and traditional elements would perfectly fit the image of Japan and Tokyo", he said. The new Olympic and Paralympic mascots will be seen in merchandise, stadiums and everything that has to do with the event.

A total of 6.5 million Japanese children - from schools in the country and overseas - cast their vote between December 11 and February 22 and then the unveiling happened.

Students from more than 200,000 classes at 16,000 Japanese schools across the country and internationally had their say. Three final sets of mascots were available, with the winning entry being a pair of anime space rabbits.

"The winning pair, clad in the "ichimatsu" checkered pattern of the Games" official logo, received 109,041 votes.

"I hope these mascots will give energy to the athletes participating in the games", Yoshinari Jitsukawa, a sixth grader who goes to Hoyonomori Elementary school, told reporters after the announcement.

The selection process involving schoolchildren was introduced to get students enthusiastic about the games while also ensuring transparency.

He added that he was thinking about becoming an athlete and possibly trying to take part in the Olympics as a ping-pong player.

Insurance companies market their services with a cuddly mascot, the famous Jimmy Hatori - a ninja with a large pink condom on his head - promotes safe sex, and even the Asahikawa prison in Hokkaido has a mascot - a humanoid with a big smiling face and a large purple flower for hair, dressed in the prison warden's uniform.

The mascots' names will be chosen based on feedback from creative professionals and will be announced in the summer.