Vladimir Putin's black Lab, Connie, is about to have some company at the Russian president's residence of Novo-Ogaryovo in Moscow.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Mexico on June 18 that Japan intends to present him with an Akita Inu puppy.
A well-known dog lover, Putin readily agreed to accept the dog, a breed native to northern Japan.
Akita Prefecture first broached the idea to the Russian government around the Russian presidential election this spring through the Foreign Ministry.
According to Akita prefectural officials, the dog to be presented to Putin is a red-haired female, born April 24, and weighing 6 kilograms. An adult Akita Inu weighs 25 to 30 kilograms.
The puppy will likely arrive in Russia in August or later.
Putin's Labrador Retriever, Connie, often accompanies him at official events.
"The dog will help bring Russia closer to Japan, even though the two countries have a number of problems to solve," Akita Governor Norihisa Satake said at a news conference on June 19.
"If the president has (an Akita) dog, it will attract a lot of attention," added Takeshi Ito, president of the Akitainu Introduction Foundation, who also attended the news conference. "I'm looking forward to it."
"Russians love animals, including dogs and cats," said noted Russian political specialist Kenro Nagoshi, a professor at Akita International University. "The present given to President Putin, who understands Japanese culture, on his re-assumption of the presidency will lead to improved relations between the two countries."
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