• Kyodo


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizing committee said the name of the games’ official mascot will not be taken from the general public but from creative professionals.

Once a panel selects the design of the mascot through a public competition, organizers will open the process to those with knowledge and experience in not just creative writing but also in dealing with trademarks, officials said Monday.

The design competition will be open to Japanese citizens and non-Japanese residing in Japan. The winner is expected to be involved in the selection of the name in some capacity.

The organizing committee’s meeting on Monday to decide the mascot selection process was the sixth of its kind and was initially scheduled to be the last. But the panel has decided it will continue to meet to finalize details of the process, which must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee by the end of March.

“We discussed the possibility of asking the public about the name of the mascot. But as you know, it’s a much tougher task (than the design) when it involves trademark rights,” said the panel’s vice chairman, Yoshiko Ikoma.

“We’ll concentrate on the naming once the design is decided. We’ve yet to discuss how to choose the people who will decide the name, but we have to overcome the trademark issue both in Japan and abroad,” Ikoma said.

“We need more than a name that sounds cute. It’s not so simple.”

The committee had agreed during in late February to incorporate opinions of children, from preschool to high school, regarding the design.

The design competition is open to everyone in Japan regardless of occupation or experience. Those under 18 can enter as long as they have a guardian’s approval.

All designs, which will be reviewed by a selection panel, must be drafted from six different angles with various expressions and poses as well as a narrative.

The IOC and IPC will give the final nod ahead of the mascot’s planned unveiling in summer 2018.

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