Japan's Wakayama celebrates giant panda Eimei's 31st birthday-Xinhua

Japan's Wakayama celebrates giant panda Eimei's 31st birthday

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-09-15 16:59:15

TOKYO, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Over 1,000 Japanese panda lovers have gathered in western Japan to celebrate the 31st birthday of Eimei, although the giant panda had returned to China after living in Japan for 28 years.

The birthday celebration was held on Thursday in Adventure World, an amusement park in Shirahama of Japan's Wakayama prefecture, where the panda dwelled. The event was live-streamed to nearly 10,000 panda lovers online.

Born on Sept. 14, 1992, Eimei, or Yong Ming in Chinese, arrived at the park in 1994. With his current age the human equivalent of 90, Eimei fathered 16 giant panda cubs born at Adventure World, setting the world record for being the oldest giant panda to have successfully bred in captivity.

The male panda was appointed a special envoy for Sino-Japan friendship by the Chinese Consul General in Osaka Xue Jian last December.

In February this year, he returned to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in southwest China's Sichuan Province along with his Japan-born twin daughters, Ouhin and Touhin.

To satisfy the eager curiosity of Japanese panda enthusiasts about Eimei's current status and activities, the birthday celebration featured several videos showing the lives of Eimei and his twin cubs since their return to China, as well as a documentary highlighting Eimei's life in Japan.

Chinese Deputy Consul General in Osaka Fang Wei, speaking at the event, emphasized that Eimei and his family will continue to play a positive role as ambassadors of China-Japan friendship.

He extended a warm invitation to Japanese fans to visit Chengdu, reunite with their old friend Eimei, and further enhance the "love for pandas" into "love among people" thereby promoting mutual understanding between China and Japan.

Wakayama Vice Governor Hiroshi Shimo noted that Eimei, during his 28 years in Wakayama, had given birth to 16 cubs, bringing joy not only to Japan but also to the entire world, adding that Eimei played an integral role in fostering the friendly partnership between Wakayama Prefecture and Sichuan Province in 2022.

The birthday celebration would mark the beginning of a new chapter in Japan-China friendly exchanges, said Shimo.