Panda cubs at Tokyo zoo get their names, to debut in January

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TOKYO (AP) — Giant panda twins born at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo in June now have their names. The female is Lei Lei, and her brother Xiao Xiao. They were chosen from hundreds of thousands of suggestions sent from fans around Japan. The twin cubs, which were palm-size pink creatures when born on June 23, have grown and now have their unique black-and-white blocks, with black fur around their eyes, ears and limbs. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike announced their names during her weekly news conference. She says Xiao Xiao means “the light of dawn turning brighter,” and Lei Lei portrays a bud becoming a beautiful flower. Like elsewhere, pandas are hugely popular in Japan. Before deciding their names, Tokyo officials even set up a name selection committee.  

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