• Kyodo

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A natural science museum in the city of Okayama announced Tuesday that it will build a world-class primate research center in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, next year.

The Great Apes Research Institute will be the second primate research institute in the country, after Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture.

Hayashibara Museum of Natural Sciences decided to build the institute because its primate research facility, housing four chimpanzees, has become too small, a museum official said.

Construction of the facility is slated to begin in January next year and will be finished in June at a cost of some 500 million yen, the official said.

The chimpanzees, which will eventually reach more than 10 in number, will have a 7,000-sq.-meter play area with a 13-meter tower and a pond, the officials said.

The planned two-story institute complex will be equipped with the latest technology for primate research, and it is hoped that the facility will attract researchers from Japan and abroad.

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