• Short Summary

    "Pandamania" gripped Tokyo this weekend. Japan formally accepted two giant pandas from China on Saturday?

  • Description

    "Pandamania" gripped Tokyo this weekend. Japan formally accepted two giant pandas from China on Saturday and flung open the gates at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo for the public the following day.

    Chang Hsiao-kuang of the Public Affaris Division of Peking city Municipality officially handed over the pandas to the Japanese Government on Saturday (Nov 4th). The gift was accepted by chief Cabinet Secretary, Susumu Nikaido, who was also presented with a painting from China.

    A gift from China to commemorate the establishment of diplomatic ties with Japan last September, the giant pandas arrived in Tokyo a week ago. Since then, the Japanese press has run daily reports on their diet and medical condition.

    Behind a giant air-filled panda, more than 2,000 people queued today (Sunday) before the gates at Ueno Zoo were opened for the first public showing.

    Forming a line that at times stretched 600 metres, more than 18,000 people were hustled past the panda cages. The line was kept moving by zoo security guards allowing each just a more 45-second glimpse of the rare animals. Some visitors had waited for three hours. Overall, 51,000 toured the zoo today.

    Three hundred riot police were also on hand but no demonstrations by right-wing extremists were reported.

    Each of the pandas was given a rest at different times as a precautionary measure. Lan las's pulse rose considerably during the previous day's ceremony.

    but zoo officials hope the pandas will adjust to their new environment. Officials have prepared for similar big crowds each day for the next three or four months.

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