• Kyodo

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The female panda cub born a month ago at Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo is set to be named by the public, with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government planning to accept suggestions from July 28.

The name will be decided in September when the cub turns 100 days old, as it is said in China that a cub which survives for 100 days will grow up strong. The cub at Ueno Zoo was born on June 12.

Zoo staff have been relieved to see the new cub, born to female Shin Shin and male Ri Ri, grow steadily. Their previous cub died in 2012 within a week of birth at the zoo, which is Japan’s oldest having opened in 1882.

Since the first two pandas, named Kan Kan and Ran Ran, arrived at the zoo in 1972, there has been a tradition of naming pandas raised there with names that have a similar, repeated-syllable pattern.

Pandas born at the zoo in the 1980s were named Tong Tong and You You after ideas were accepted from the public.

“We want families to think of a cute name, and stay excited until it is decided,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said at a news conference last week.

If the cub remains healthy and is displayed in public, it will be the first time in 29 years that a cub born at the zoo will be viewable, after You You in 1988.

The metropolitan government will accept applications online as well as via a suggestion box at the zoo.

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