Russia declines Japanese dog diplomacy ahead of summit

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

The Japanese government had planned to present Putin, widely known to be a dog lover, with a male Akita as a companion to Yume, a female of the same breed that Japan gave him in 2012.

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Vladimir Putin with animals
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Vladimir Putin with animals
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his dog named Yume, which was presented to Putin by Japan's northern Akita Prefecture in July 2012, welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon Abe's arrival for their meeting in Sochi, Russia, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 8, 2014. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT.
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches a Przewalski's horse in preparation to release it from an acclimation pen at a reserve for wild horses outside Orenburg, Russia, October 3, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin feeds Przewalski's horses in preparation to release them from an acclimation pen at a reserve for wild horses outside Orenburg, Russia, October 3, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a cat while inspecting reconstruction of houses for people who suffered from wildfires in the village of Krasnopolye at the Siberian Khakasiya region, Russia, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a Persian leopard during his visit to the Persian Leopard Breeding and Rehabilitation Centre in the Sochi national park near Sochi February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) stands near reindeers in the Siberian Federal District July 20, 2013. Picture taken July 20, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin poses for a picture beside reindeers in the Siberian Federal District July 20, 2013. Picture taken July 20, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin leans to touch a dolphin as he visits the Primorsky Aquarium, which is under construction, on the Russky Island in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin poses for a picture as he fishes in the Krasnoyarsk territory in the Siberian Federal District July 20, 2013. Picture taken July 20, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with a walrus during his visit to the Primorsky Aquarium, which is under construction, on the Russky Island in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, September 1, 2013. Picture taken September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin lies on the snow during a walk with dogs in Moscow Region, March 24, 2013. Putin walked with Bulgarian shepherd and Akita Inu breeds of dogs, according to RIA Novosti news agency. Picture taken March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's President Vladimir Putin lies on snow during a walk with dogs in Moscow Region, March 24, 2013. Putin walked with Bulgarian shepherd and Akita Inu breeds of dogs, according to RIA Novosti news agency. Picture taken March 24, 2013.REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) touches an octopus as he visits an oceanarium on the Russky Island in Vladivostok, September 6, 2012. Putin will take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. REUTERS/Ria NovostiMikhail Klimentyev/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Dima Sokolov (front R), the boy who has proposed the dog's name for Putin, play with the Bulgarian shepherd dog named Buffy at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow December 9, 2010. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plays with his Bulgarian shepherd dog named Buffy at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, December 9, 2010. REUTERS/Alexsey Druginyn/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY ANIMALS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov reacts as Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) hugs a Bulgarian shepherd dog presented by Borisov as a gift in Sofia, November 13, 2010. Putin is in Bulgaria on one day working visit. REUTERS/Oleg Popov (BULGARIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS)
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hugs a Bulgarian shepherd dog, after receiving it as a present from Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov (not seen) in Sofia, November 13, 2010. Putin is in Bulgaria on a one day working visit. REUTERS/Oleg Popov (BULGARIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse as he takes part in an expedition to Ubsunur Hollow Biosphere Preserve to inspect the snow leopard's habitat in Tyva Republic in the Siberian Federal District October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS IMAGES OF THE DAY) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds a young elk at the national park 'Losiny Ostrov' (Elk Island) in northeast Moscow, June 5, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Druzhinin (RUSSIA - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT POLITICS)
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides a horse during his working visit to the Siberian Khakasiya region near Karatash settlement outside the city of Abakan February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin/Pool (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (2nd R), Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov (2nd L), the head of a Russian research institute for space instrument making Yuri Urlich (L), and the head constructor of a new Russian satellite global positioning system, Evgenny Belyanko, stand around Putin's dog Koni that wears a GPS device on its collar in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow October 17, 2008. Putin's black labrador Koni on Friday received a collar, which will help its master monitor her movements through Russia's news sattelite global positioning system GLONASS. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool (RUSSIA)
Russian President Vladimir Putin leads an Arabian horse at the opening ceremony of the riding school for children outside Moscow on October 20, 2002. Putin presented the horse to the new school.
- FILE POTO TAKEN 26JUL02 - File picture shows Russian President Vladimir Putin as he rides a horse outside Moscow, July 26, 2002. (Credit : REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE REUTERS)
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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, without giving a reason for the rejection.

Abe and Putin will meet in Japan on Dec. 15-16.

They are expected to work towards reviving security talks and joint naval rescue training halted after Russia annexed the Crimea region in 2014. The two sides are also set to sign some business deals.

A territorial dispute over a group of islands has bedeviled relations between the two countries since the end of World War Two.

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.

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