Tokyo 2020's final candidates for mascots to be voted by children
Tokyo 2020 organizers unveiled three pairs of candidate mascots for the Olympics and Paralympics on Thursday which will be put to the vote by elementary school students across Japan.
The shortlist of mascots, mostly featuring cats, foxes and raccoon - the animals believed in Japan to invite fortune, drew applause from over 100 children gathered in a school gymnasium in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward.
The selection committee said a total of 2,042 mascot designs have been received after the competition was launched in August. There were 1,774 individual submissions and 268 group submissions.
Each class in all elementary schools across Japan will have one vote until February 22, 2019, organizers said, in a bid to make the selection process transparent and to get children excited about the Games. The official mascots will be announced on February 28, 2019.