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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Japan's PM to ask Beijing for two pandas

By Zhang Yunbi  (China Daily)

08:26, December 23, 2011

BEIJING - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Thursday that he will ask Beijing to lease two pandas to Japan during his visit to China.

Noda, scheduled to visit China on Sunday and Monday, plans to hold separate talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Tokyo hopes Beijing will lease the pandas to the Yagiyama Zoological Park in the city of Sendai, an area heavily stricken by the earthquake and tsunami last March, Japan's Fuji Television said on Thursday.

Noda held a meeting on Thursday morning at the prime minister's office with Sendai City's Vice-Mayor Yukimoto Ito, Japanese actress Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and singer Masahiko Kondo.

"The children there really want to see the pandas anyway," Kondo, a 47-year-old renowned Japanese singer who has been supporting reconstruction efforts in the disaster zones, told the prime minister.

In response, Noda said he will voice support and "inform Beijing of the panda proposal at the weekend".

Kuroyanagi and Kondo also presented Noda with the signatures of children who hope to see the pandas.

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