Japan is negotiating with China to lend a giant panda to a zoo in Sendai City for the sake of children scarred by the March earthquake and tsunami.
Sendai Mayor Emiko Okuyama told a news conference that she has contacted the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo and made the request for a panda to be sent on loan to the Yagiyama Zoological Park, TBS reported Monday.
Next year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and China next year, although the relationship has been strained recently.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is considering a December trip to China to smooth over contentious issues and he may ask President Jintao personally to allow a giant panda to be loaned to Japan, TBS reported.
Japan last received two pandas from China in March when two 5-year-olds arrived at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo. Tokyo is renting the pandas for $950,000 a year.
About 1,600 pandas live in the wild, mostly in Sichuan. Eleven pandas are in Japan.© Japan Today