Putin shows no puppy love for Japan’s attempt at puppy-love diplomacy


An offer to “present a bridegroom” for President Putin’s female pooch “was dashed” – a Japanese politician reveals.

Russin President Vladimir Putin as he plays with his dogs 'Buffy' (up) and 'Yume' at his residence Novo-Ogariovo, outside Moscow
Image Caption: Mr Putin rolling around in the snow with Yume (L) and Buffy (R) at his residence near Moscow in 2013

Russia appears to have snubbed a Japanese attempt at dog diplomacy by declining the gift of a puppy for President Vladimir Putin at a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Japanese government had planned to present Mr Putin, widely known to be a canine lover, with a male Akita as a “bridegroom” to Yume, a female of the same breed that Japan gave the Russian leader in 2012.

But a Japanese legislator said Russia had turned down the offer.

“Unfortunately, we heard from our counterparts, and our hope to present a bridegroom was dashed,” House of Representatives member Koichi Hagiuda said in a blog post on Friday.

He did not give a reason for the rejection.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin presents his dog 'Yume' to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Image Caption: Japan offered Mr Putin Yume as a gift during a G20 meeting in 2012

Mr Abe and Mr Putin will meet in Japan next week where they are expected to work towards reviving security talks and joint naval rescue training halted after Russia annexed the Crimea region in 2014.

Mr Putin is known to be an animal lover who has been photographed riding horses, swimming with dolphins and cuddling a leopard.

In addition to Yume, which means “dream” in Japanese, he is the owner of Buffy, a male Bulgarian Shepherd given by Bulgaria’s prime minister in 2010.