Tokyo 2020 have unveiled their emblems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 have today unveiled the logos for the Olympics and Paralympics, entitled "harmonised chequered emblems" which organisers claim reflect the spirit of the Games.

The winning emblem was designed by Asao Tokolo, a graduate of Tokyo Zokei University with a degree in architecture and has had his work featured in several exhibitions across Japan.

An unveiling ceremony was held at the Toranomon Hills Mori Tower in the Japanese capital to reveal the emblems for the Games, marking the end of a lengthy process to find the replacement logos after the original designs were scrapped due to allegations of plagiarism.

It was chosen following an open competition, which attracted a total of 14,599 entrants from all over the world, before the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee whittled the shortlist down to four - option A, B, C and D.

The Committee, which features leading names from the worlds of sport, business and design, listened to feedback from the general public who were invited to use an online form before the closing date of April 17 before they selected the winner.

They believe the chosen emblem "exemplifies Japan and the city of Tokyo" and "incorporates the message of unity in diversity".

Along with Tokolo, Kozue Kuno, designer of option B, Takaaki Goto, who created option C and option D designer Chie Fujii all received awards at the ceremony to recognise them reaching the final four.

A host of dignitaries were in attendance at the event, including Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission John Coates and vice-chair Alex Gilady, also an IOC member.

The winning design was chosen ahead of more colourful logos by the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee
The winning design was chosen ahead of more colourful logos by the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee ©Tokyo 2020

"The new Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 emblem symbolizes important elements of the Tokyo 2020 Games vision and the underlying concepts of achieving personal best, unity in diversity and connecting to tomorrow," Coates said.

"I congratulate the Tokyo 2020 team for the inclusive process that led to this selection.

"The public engagement in the selection process is another sign of growing interest in the 2020 Games.

"Interest and excitement will continue to build, in Japan and globally, after the official handoff to Tokyo 2020 at the close of the upcoming Olympic Games Rio 2016.

"The Tokyo 2020 emblem will become a familiar symbol to people around the world."

All of the contenders have faced criticism, however, with a number of professional designers saying they were less than impressed with the standard of the final four.

Much of the contention is down to the open competition to pick the replacement logos and it is claimed that a strong design can only be the result of Tokyo 2020 working closely with a professional design team.

"Since September last year, it has been a great honour and privilege to chair the Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee, and to work with my fellow committee members," Tokyo 2020 Emblems Selection Committee chair Ryohei Miyata said. 

"I am extremely grateful to all members of the committee for their outstanding efforts over the past seven months.

"From today, these emblems will serve as the face of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"I very much hope that the emblems will prove popular with people everywhere, and we look forward to your continued support towards the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

The winning logos, designed by  Asao Tokolo, was unveiled at a ceremony in Tokyo today ©Getty Images
The winning logos, designed by Asao Tokolo, was unveiled at a ceremony in Tokyo today ©Getty Images

The news marks the end of an ongoing saga which has caused vast degrees of embarrassment for organisers after the original logo, created by Kenjiro Sano, was axed following suggestions he had stolen the idea.

It was withdrawn after Belgian Olivier Debie claimed that it resembled his Théâtre de Liège logo too closely.

Lawsuits against Tokyo 2020 and the IOC were eventually dropped.

Tokyo 2020 have also endured problems with the National Stadium, due to be the centrepiece of the Games, after the construction encountered delays, while the placement of the Olympic Cauldron in the venue has caused controversy as it will be partially made out of wood.

It was suggested that the flame, which has to be visible from inside and outside the Stadium as part of IOC regulations, could breach laws set out under the Japanese Fire Service Act.