TOKYO – Japan is rolling out a red carpet for the arrival of much-awaited special guests from China: a pair of giant pandas.
The giant pandas are due to arrive at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo on Monday. They'll be the zoo's first since a panda died in 2008.
The first pair of pandas came to the zoo in 1972, marking the signing of a peace treaty between Japan and China.
The Ueno area was filled with panda themes Sunday. Streets were decorated with banners carrying panda cartoons, and shops were selling novelty goods.
Expectations are running high for the pandas to boost Tokyo's economy and its troubled relations with Beijing. The two Asian powers were locked in a heated diplomatic dispute late last year over small islands both claim in the East China Sea.