TOKYO -- The lease period for giant panda Xiang Xiang from China to Ueno Zoological Gardens in the capital's Taito Ward will be extended from the end of this month to the end of June 2022, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike announced on Dec. 7.
This is the third time that the return of Xiang Xiang has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic as it has made it difficult for staff from both Japan and China to travel.
Koike told reporters, "The deadline for the return has been further extended after discussions with the Chinese side. Xiang Xiang will remain in Ueno for a while longer."
The specific date for the return and the end of public display of the 4-year-old female panda will be announced at a later date.
(Japanese original by Hitomi Saikawa, Tokyo City News Department)