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This week’s featured article

ANDREW MCKIRDY, THE JAPAN TIMES

Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers on Friday unveiled a shortlist of four replacement logos after the original design was scrapped last September amid accusations of plagiarism.

The Tokyo 2020 Logo Selection Committee chose the four candidates from almost 15,000 entries in a competition open to any resident of Japan over the age of 18.

“This time, we wanted as many people as possible to participate, and we received entries from people of all different ages, nationalities and occupations,” said Logo Selection Committee Chairman Ryohei Miyata.

Members of the public will now have until April 17 to voice their opinion online or by postcard. The committee will take these into account before it votes on which design to present to the Tokyo 2020 board on April 25. The winner will be decided the same day.

The four designs range from an indigo-and-white checkered circle to “a morning glory flower as it faces the heavens to greet the new morning.”

The competition was launched last October after the original logo by designer Kenjiro Sano unveiled last July was axed. Claims of plagiarism by the designer of a Belgian theater logo led to a slew of further allegations against Sano’s work.

The Logo Selection Committee — which met 14 times — chose the four candidates in January before adopting a series of copyright checks to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle.

“In order to create an emblem that is loved and that sends a message to the world, the process had to be about participation and transparency,” said Miyata, who said the committee does not know the identity of any of the entrants.

The designer of the successful logo will be awarded ¥1 million and a ticket to the opening ceremonies of both the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

“Giving one’s opinion is another way for people to participate,” said Miyata. “All of these are wonderful designs and I think we will receive a diverse range of comments. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes.”

First published in The Japan Times on April 9.

Warm up

One-minute chat about sport.

Game

Collect words related to games, e.g., award, race, team.

New words

1) accusation: a claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong; e.g., “Do you have evidence to back up that accusation?”

2) allegation: a claim or statement, often made without proof; e.g., “He has faced allegations of cheating.”

3) debacle: a complete failure; e.g., “Hopefully they have learned their lesson from that debacle.”

4) transparency: the state of being easy to see through; e.g., “To regain trust, the government needs to work on its transparency.”

Guess the headline

Japan unveils final f_ _ _ candidates for Tokyo 2020 O_ _ _ _ _ _ _ logo

Questions

1) How many entries were received by the Tokyo 2020 Logo Selection Committee?

2) What is happening before the final vote?

3) What will the winner of the contest get?

Let’s discuss the article

1) What symbol do you think best represents Japan?

2) Are you excited about the Tokyo Olympics?

3) What still needs to be done to get ready for the Olympics?

Reference

昨年一騒動を起こしたエンブレムの候補が発表されました。非常に多くの 応募の中から候補作を選び、その候補に懸念点がないかを精査するということは莫大な時間を要したことでしょう。しかし、今の時代精査しきったと思ってもネットなどを通じて世論から指摘を受けるという可能性は大いにあり得ます。

慎重なプロセスには過去と同じ失敗を繰り返したくないという協会の切なる願いが込められているようにも思われます。

どのような作品がオリンピックの顔として2020年までの東京を飾るでしょうか。

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