Norihisa Satake, the governor of Akita prefecture, has shared with Sputnik how life in Japan is treating the Siberian cat, named Mir after the Russian word for “peace” that was gifted by Russian President Vladimir Putin a few years ago:
“The cat is healthy, he has become huge, already weighing eight kilos. In total, I have seven cats, the other six get along well with him. He understands Japanese”, the governor said.
According to him, the children call the cat Miru-bo, adding the diminutive suffix "-bo" to the original name in the local dialect.
"The cat responds immediately. At six in the morning, he asks for food – he comes up, touches my shoulder with his paw and starts meowing", Satake said.
Back in 2012, Satake gifted an Akita Inu puppy named Yume (or Dream) to President Putin in order to express gratitude for Russia’s assistance in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As a return gift, Putin presented Mir to Satake.