Designer Taniguchi will not, however, receive any royalties from mascot-related products because the contest regulations specified that all intellectual rights would go to the International Olympic and Paralympic committees, he said. There are about 21,200 elementary schools in Japan.
The winning pair of mascots for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, chosen by elementary schoolchildren nationwide in a public vote, was announced February 28.
"It has a dignified inner strength and a kind heart that loves nature", the description of the mascot said. The Candidate C pair featured a fox and a raccoon dog.
"Its color and shape give a sense of unity and are suited for the Olympics and Paralympics that involve people regardless of their position or nationality".
"I don't know what to say (to describe how it feels to win)".
A 17-member selection panel, headed by Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Ryohei Miyata, shortlisted the three candidate pairs on December 7 from 2,042 works submitted by professionals and amateurs throughout the nation. Each class had one vote.
BC-OLY-Tokyo 2020-Mascots, 122 Futuristic digital characters selected as Tokyo 2020 mascotsAP Photo XEH108, XEH107, XEH101, XEH102, XEH103, XEH104, XEH105, XEH106Eds: APNewsNow.
About 6.5 million schoolchildren took part in voting among three short-listed designs with their classes casting a single vote.
PyeongChang 2018 mascots dance during the Closing Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Miyu Kawa, 12, another Hoyonomori Elementary school student, said her class voted for the winning design in the belief that the cherry blossom motif and the Olympic character's traditional checkered pattern best represented Japan and were the most appealing.
The games are scheduled for 2020.
Taniguchi will be awarded ¥1 million and a ticket to the opening ceremonies of both the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
The mascots' names will be chosen based on feedback from creative professionals and will be announced in the summer.