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Tuesday, 18th October 2011
In General Japan News,

Pandas could be used to boost Tsunami-affected area of Japan

The region of Japan affected by a massive tsunami earlier this year could be boosted by the arrival of two giant pandas from China.

Government officials are currently in talks to obtain the pair of animals, who would then reside at Yagiyama Zoological Park in the middle of Miyagi Prefecture.

Emiko Okuyama, mayor of Sendai city, said the additions to the zoo would cheer up children in the region.

"My heart aches anew each time I visit the disaster-hit areas. Every time I think about the local people, I feel the need to bring those pandas here and spread joy to all," added Chinese ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua.

It is reported that the idea originated after a young Japanese girl spoke to the premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to Miyagi Prefecture in May.

A transferring of pandas has been seen before between the two countries, with China sending two to Japan in 1972 to celebrate the normalisation of bilateral relations.

Japan is also currently the world's most successful breeding ground for pandas outside of China, according to, with experts striving to save the species.

Written by Mark Smith

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