Putin refuses gift of a dog from Japanese Government

  • By Mikhail Tomeva

Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned down a dog as a gift from the Japanese government, according to a Japanese MP

Koichi Hagiuda did not give a reason as to why the state gift had been rejected.

Japan gave Mr Putin a female Akita called Yume in 2012. This most recent dog was intended as a male companion for her.

Hagiuda wrote in a blog post: “Unfortunately, we heard from our counterparts, and our hope to present a bridegroom was dashed.”

If accepted, the gift would have been presented to the Russian president at a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan next week.

The Akita bread of canine originate from northern Japan.

Mr Putin also owns a male Bulgarian Shepherd called Buffy, which was given to him by the Bulgarian prime minister in 2010 as well as recently owning a Labrador, Konni, given to him as a gift by Sergey Shoigu, currently Russian defence minister, which unfortunately died in 2014.

Mr Putin once brought Konni to a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is scared of dogs. Some press reports at the time said he had done so to intimidate her. But earlier this year, Mr Putin told a German newspaper that he did not know about her fear.

He said: “When I learned that she does not like dogs, I apologised, of course.”

The global press has taken a keen interest into this recent canine related incident with many western media outlets over analysing and re-spinning the story as propaganda that Russian-Japanese ties are weakening. This is certainly not the case. Whilst no official reason is given, as we all know a pet such a a dog is a responsibility for may years to come, with an important job as President of the world’s vastest nation a family and several pets already, it is not surprising perhaps if the President did not want a breading partner for his beloved Yume the Akita.


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M.Tomeva@theinternational.org.uk

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