Putin's gift cat finally meets Japanese owner

Tokyo, Feb 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A cat presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the governor of Japan's Akita prefecture has been finally handed over to his new owner after the animal spent five months in quarantine.

The Siberian cat has been given the Russian name "Mir", a prefecture spokesman said.

Mir, which means peace in Russian, arrived in Japan in August 2012 but had to spend five months in quarantine at the Narita international airport.

The 11-month old male cat was Putin's gift to governor Norihisa Satake, who sent an Akita Inu puppy named Yume (or "Dream") to the Russian leader last year in gratitude for Russia's assistance after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

"And we need peace to make dreams come true," the prefecture spokesman quoted governor Satake as saying.

"Mir is a very beautiful cat. He is marvellous. He's a real presidential cat," the spokesman said.

Satake is a passionate feline lover who already has seven cats.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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