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TOKYO, May 31, Xinhua -- Giant Panda cub Xiang Xiang, which has been adored by huge flux of visitors to the Tokyo zoo, will extend its stay here and return to China by the end of 2020, Tokyo Govenor Yuriko Koike said Friday.

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"Thanks to the understanding of the Chinese side, people can continue seeing her," Koike told a press conference.

"I can imagine some people would miss her but (the return of Xiang Xiang) will be necessary in preserving and breeding of pandas," she said.

The loan period of the female panda has been extended. Xiang Xiang was originally planned to send back to China when she turns two years old next month under an agreement.

Xiang Xiang was born on June 12, 2017 to mother Shin Shin and father Ri Ri through natural mating at the Ueno Zoological Gardens in Tokyo.

Her name was chosen from more than 320,000 suggestions that people sent to the zoo.

Xiang Xiang's parents came to Japan in 2011 under a 10-year lease agreement. China has ownership of Xiang Xiang and also her parents.

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