Japan and China are planning to cooperate on breeding research for giant pandas by signing a memorandum later this month when their leaders meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, the media reported.
The signing is intended to showcase the continuing thaw in bilateral relations that have been frayed over territorial and historical issues and paves the way for China’s future lease of another giant panda at the request of Japan, The Japan Times quoted sources as saying on Wednesday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to make his first visit to Japan since he came to power in 2013 and a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being arranged on the sidelines of the June 28 and 29 summit.
According to the report, the memorandum will state that Japan’s Foreign Ministry and Environment Ministry and China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration will cooperate over giant panda breeding.
It will also enable the two countries to jointly cope with diseases and other breeding problems faced by giant pandas, including those already leased to Japan.
Giant pandas from China are seen as symbols of bilateral friendship. There are now 10 giant pandas in Japan, including leased animals and their offspring.
Three of them reside at the Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo, six live at Adventure World in Wakayama prefecture and one is a resident of Kobe Oji Zoo in Hyogo prefecture.
Most recently, the loan period for giant panda cub Xiang Xiang at Ueno zoo was extended until the end of next year. Beijing has ownership of the cub, born in 2017 at the zoo, and the animal was originally due to be returned to China this month, The Japan Times said.
The envisioned agreement “will add impetus to efforts to secure the lease of another giant panda”, a senior Foreign Ministry official said.
Candidate zoos for a new giant panda have already been discussed and they include facilities in Miyagi and Hyogo prefectures.
The first giant pandas came to Ueno zoo in 1972 to commemorate the normalization of bilateral ties. In 2011, China expressed a willingness to lease more giant pandas to Japan but it did not materialize. (IANS)
The outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China has quickly caused a crisis across the world. The virus has already been announced to pose a worldwide threat, but the biggest risk groups are the countries located close to China.
The toll has not been limited to those infected by the virus. The entire economy of the world is currently going through a major change, since China and its neighboring countries, including Australia, are such important players in the world trade. All the flights going in and out of China have been canceled and traveling, in general, has become much more dangerous, hence much less popular. The scope of the damages caused by the coronavirus has already stunted the economy of the region.
Economic losses for Australia
According to economists, Australia could lose as much as $1 billion due to this outbreak. The tourism sector has taken the biggest hit with these changes. The outbreak happened during the Chinese New Year, which is usually a huge time for international travel, but because of this outbreak, the traveling is limited, causing the countries that usually see a lot of action in ticket sales, a major loss. Even though 99% of coronavirus cases are registered in China, there are some singular cases outside of the country, in Australia as well, so the traveling is actually quite difficult, with some airlines completely shutting down their flights to prevent the virus from spreading.
What is also affecting China is that they have suspended all the trading, and for a lot of countries, especially for Australia, for which China is an extremely important trading partner, the access to a lot of imported goods has been limited.
The world has experienced outbreaks of a similar scale two times, during the swine flu (H1N1 Flu) in 2009, and SARS 2003, also originating from China. But this time around, having had experience with SARS, China reacted much more quickly than in the previous case, hopefully ensuring the better prevention of international contamination, but coronavirus is difficult to diagnose because it does not immediately show up, with varying symptoms, so a person could be carrying a virus without even knowing it for two weeks.
The effects on the entertainment industry
The outbreak has affected the businesses and services that operate in public areas, but most of all it is the entertainment industry that has suffered, because amidst the outbreak, not only do people have no time for these kinds of activities, but also most of them require being around a lot of people in smaller spaces.
Australia has one of the most famous gambling scenes, with two outstanding leaders in this industry located there, The Crown and Star, who rely on rich gamblers coming in from China. So as on mainland China it is illegal to gamble the VIP gamblers come in Australia to get access to online gambling for real money and play here online pokies games. These establishments are already experiencing huge losses. The USB forecast even went on to say that these casinos will likely see a 50% drop in their income because of the outbreak. These casinos are a tourist destination as well, and considering the dangers that come with flying in the regions around China, these casinos are bound to have a pretty rough quarter.
The airline companies will also experience huge losses these following weeks and since we don’t know whether there will be a solution anytime soon, and how bad the coronavirus can get, these estimations could really grow, causing even bigger disruptions. The exact numbers could change in a matter of weeks, depending on how the virus behaves, but one thing is clear, the outbreak has greatly affected the economies around the world, and especially in the region. Australia is already recovering from the terrible bushfires that have destroyed a lot of Australia’s wildlife and facilities.
Now in addition to that, the country is experiencing the consequences of the virus outbreak and is feeling the results of the outbreak on its economy and financial sector, with tourism and entertainment, two for the huge parts of the Australian economy, taking the biggest hit.