Ponyo’s child singer Nozomi Ohashi named panda ambassador

By Tenkaijapan - Last updated: 木曜日, 3月 3, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Nozomi Ohashi was named as an ambassador over the weekend to promote the popularity of two giant pandas that arrived at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo from China.

Ohashi made her drama debut at the age of three and  she debuted as a singer with the theme song for the animated film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea in 2007.

“I love pandas because they are very cute. Please everybody, come to see them,” the 11-year-old singer said in an event Saturday at the zoo.

Ueno Zoo has been without a giant panda for the first time since 1972, when a pair arrived to mark the signing of a peace treaty between Japan and China. Ling Ling, a panda who came to Tokyo in 1992, died in April 2008 at the age of 22, which in human terms is equivalent to about 70.

Zoo director Teruyuki Komiya said the pandas, a pair of 5-year-olds that arrived Feb. 21 on lease from China, were in good health.

The zoo plans to begin showing the pandas to the public in late March.

Ueno Zoo is Japan’s oldest and most famous zoo, opened on March 20, 1882. The zoo is located within Ueno Park, a large urban park that is home to several museums, a small amusement park, and other attractions.

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