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Friday, 23rd December 2011
In General Japan News,

Noda to ask China for pandas

A zoo in Sendai could soon be the proud home to giant pandas after the Japanese government revealed yesterday (December 22nd) that it was in talks with officials in China over leasing the rare animals.

Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda promised that he would support the bid and has held meetings with representatives of Yagiyama Zoological Park as well as Sendai officials ahead of his trip to China which begins on Sunday (December 25th), the Japan Times reported.

Sendai was badly hit by the March 11th disasters and it is hoped that bringing the much-loved creatures to the Yagiyama zoo will help inspire children who have experienced a very traumatic year.

In 2012 it is the 40th anniversary of normalised diplomatic relations between Japan and China and Mr Noda's government are hoping that China will lease them the pandas as an act of friendship.

Following his meeting with the Prime Minister, the vice mayor of Sendai, Yukimoto Ito, said: "We want (the pandas) to heal the pain that children experienced and serve as a light of hope for them," the news provider quoted.

Earlier this month, a pair of giant pandas were brought from China to Edinburgh zoo in Scotland where they became instant celebrities.

Written by Susan Ballion

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