China-Japan Relations Strained By ...Dead Panda?

Japan over-anesthesized China's male days after fishing boat incident

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 14, 2010 9:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – The death of a panda is worsening already-strained diplomatic relations between China and Japan. China loaned Xing Xing, a 14-year-old male, to a Japanese zoo, and he died last week after being anesthetized so zoo workers could collect his sperm for use in artificial insemination. Chinese officials believe the animal was given too much sedative, and is sending over a panel of experts to investigate, Asia One reports—but some in China are cooking up conspiracy theories, the Telegraph adds.

The panda's death came just days after a Chinese fishing boat captain was arrested by Japan's Coast Guard after his boat collided with theirs in disputed waters; Japanese authorities claim the captain purposefully caused the collision. China's Internet is now full of posts like this one: "The Panda died just one day right after Japan arrested the Chinese fishing boat captain, right? Before that it has been living safely in Japan for ten years. Is the Panda's death really a coincidence?" For more panda news, click here.

This July 7, 2010 file photo shows Tian Tian, one of the National Zoo's pandas, checking out two fruit popsicles on a hot summer day at the zoo in Washington.
This July 7, 2010 file photo shows Tian Tian, one of the National Zoo's pandas, checking out two fruit popsicles on a hot summer day at the zoo in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, FILE)
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