Bridgestone Corporation became the first Founding Partner of the Olympic Channel in August 2016, signing a four-year agreement to support the digital platform and celebrate the Olympic Movement year-round on the Road to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
All up, 2,042 individuals and groups submitted designs that they hoped would capture the public's affection. Tom meanwhile, was the mascot for the Paralympics and represented the the country's flora.
The yet-to-be named mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic games, were selected by schoolchildren across mascot-mad Japan.
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. Three final sets of mascots were available, with the winning entry being a pair of anime space rabbits. The event has not given names to the mascots. "The Olympic Mascot was born from a traditional chequered pattern and a futuristic vision of the world".
"The mascot has a strong sense of justice and is very athletic", the notes about the mascot said.
Helpfully, it also has a magical power that enables it "to move anywhere instantaneously".
But Wenlock and Mandeville, the widely mocked mascots of the 2012 London Games, proved far from Olympic gold.
It has a "dignified inner strength", and while normally calm, it "gets very powerful when needed". Its superpower is moving things by simply looking at them. Thousands of schools participated in the voting process.
The winning designs for the Olympics and the Paralympics were created by Ryo Taniguchi, a 43-year-old character designer and illustrator from Fukuoka Prefecture, whose works have been featured in English-language school textbooks.
The games are scheduled for 2020. Tokyo will host the Olympics for a second time after it did so in 1964. Since then, we've seen eagles, polar bears, mythical sea creatures and many more as mascots.