The Akita Inu puppy given to Russian President Vladimir Putin should help advance relations between Japan and Russia, said Norihisa Satake, head of the Akita prefecture, where the breed originated.
The three-month old puppy named Yume arrived in Moscow from Tokyo on Friday and is to be handed over to its owner on Sunday. Yume is the prefecture’s gift to show gratitude for Russia’s assistance after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
“I hope that this gift will make a contribution to the deepening of mutual understanding and the further development of relations between Japan and Russia,” the governor said.
He said previously that the puppy could bring Japan and Russia closer together “despite the fact that there are a number of unresolved issues between the two countries.”
Putin currently has a Labrador named Koni and a Bulgarian shepherd named Baffi, which was given to him by his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borisov in November 2010.
The Akita, a large spitz breed of dog, has a short double coat similar to that of many other northern Spitz breeds, e.g., Siberian Husky.
The Akita is a strong, independent and dominant breed, commonly aloof with strangers but affectionate with family members.