Putin reciprocates puppy gift of Japanese governor with Siberian kitten

President Vladimir Putin has presented a Siberian breed cat to Akita Governor Norihisa Satake to reciprocate the puppy gift, the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets said.

Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the newspaper the president picked the cat himself from several options offered by his assistants.

Under the strict sanitary and epidemiological rules of Japan, the cat will spend six months under quarantine at the Tokyo Airport. The 180-day quarantine will end in February. Satake said he would train the cat personally. The kitten is slightly more than six months old now and it has no name. The Japanese government will name it.

The Japanese authorities published the kitten's photo on September 12. It is a young tom cat of the Siberian colorpoint breed. The newspaper said that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev had a similar gray cat of the Blue tabby-point breed.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told Putin in Mexico on June 18 that the Russian president, a great fan of dogs, had been presented with an Akita inu puppy, a breed known by the Hachi: A Dog's Story movie, "as a token of gratitude for Russian assistance to northeastern Japan pounded by a major earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 and congratulations on his inauguration as the Russian president."

The puppy was brought to Moscow and handed over to Kremlin representatives in July, ahead of Putin's meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.

Putin thanked the governor for his gift and promised to send him "a big Siberian cat." "I was told he loves cats. So tell him I will send a big Siberian cat," Putin said.

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