Event marks 25 years since crested ibis breeding pair were brought from China

An event on Sado Island in Japan's Niigata Prefecture has marked 25 years since a pair of crested ibises were brought from China, resulting in their first artificial breeding in Japan.

Crested ibises are designated as a national natural treasure in Japan.

Officials of Japan's Environment Ministry and representatives from China took part in a celebration on Sunday.

China presented the pair of birds, male You-you and female Yang-yang, to Japan in 1999. They played an important role in reintroducing the birds into the wild.

You-you remains at the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Conservation Center on the island, but Yang-yang died last year. The stuffed specimen was displayed at the event.

Environment Ministry officials said they are considering holding an exhibition tour outside the prefecture featuring Yang-yang, with a view to releasing crested ibises on the main island of Honshu in the future.

The Chinese Consul General in Niigata, Cui Weilei, was asked by reporters whether China would give more crested ibises to Japan. Cui said that if such a request was made, China would seriously consider it.