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  1. Official drawings of the 2019 Mazda3 – keep in mind that at this time, we don’t know if it will be sold as a 2019MY or 2020MY in the U.S.A. and Canada. The new “3” will employ Mazda’s latest Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture. The platform is said to be stronger while providing a much better ride quality. But the big news for the fourth-generation “3” is the debut of Mazda’s new SkyActiv-X gasoline enginefeaturing Spark Controlled Compression Ignition. This innovative four-cylinder unit combines characteristics of diesel and regular gasoline engines, using spark plug ignition to “control compression ignition”. In short, it ignites the fuel-air mixture similar to a diesel engine promising to combine the fuel efficiency of the former with all the benefits of a gasoline unit, without the emissions penalty. Mazda forecasts an output of around 190 horsepower with 170 lb-ft (230Nm) of peak torque from the 2.0-liter version. That puts it well above today’s 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G that delivers 155hp and 150 lb-ft (203Nm) and on par with the bigger 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G with 184hp and 185 lb-ft (250Nm). The difference here is that Mazda is targeting at least a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy and up to 25 percent less carbon dioxide emissions over the current Skyactive G engines. Mazda Kai Concept Wants To Get Our Hopes Up For New Mazda3
  2. The current 10th generation Civic was officially unveiled on 17 September 2015, and after close to 5 years, the next gen is on the horizon. The spy shots below shown the 5 door Type R variant, which look more upright than the current gen even though it was wearing heavy cladding. More spy shots of the other variants can be expected to surface very soon. Stay tuned.
  3. Went to Hokkaido recently and would like to share some photos here. Famous for its flower flied and winter sports during winter, August is end of the summer season I think. Weather wise still cooling average around 22 C with morning and evening dropping to below 18C. This trip I rented a 8 seater and total distance covered is approx 1400 Km. While the speed limit for city is 50 km/hr and highway 80 km/hr, to maintain at 80 km/hr on highway is not so easy. Took Scoot from Singapore and transit at Taiwan (1 hour transit time) Good break but just enough time to get on the plane. Landed in Sapporo early morning. This is a short of their air port. nowhere near Changi T1 but there are buses you can catch to town. I booked Unizo Inn next to Sapporo Grand Hotel. Checked in and walk to collect my car which I booked with Budget car rental. It is within walking distance. Photos of a street shot in Sapporo and their underground train station (MRT). Beside flower and snow, Japan is also about food. 1st stop is their famous Furano Cheese factory. But, it is more like a cafe and their cakes.
  4. So yup guys... as the header says... I use Japan Guide as my reference for this price hike... hopefully the pricing is correct. https://www.japan-guide.com/news/japan-rail-pass-cost-increase.html Current 21 + 7 day Pass price = 60,450 + 29, 650 = 90,100 yen New Price 21 + 7 day Pass price = 100,000 + 50,000 = 150,000 yen So must pay about $600 more per person... Flying in and out of Fukuoka cos the pricing for SQ plus want to travel whole Japan. Tickets already purchased. My trip is 2 - 30 Dec 2023... 28 days... so must buy a 21 + 7 day pass... My trip itinerary comprise the following Shinkansen trips: Singapore - Fukuoka (SQ) Fukuoka - Hiroshima (Shinkansen) 8570 yen Hiroshima - Osaka (Shinkansen) 9890 yen Osaka - Nagano (Shinkansen) 11,220 yen Nagano - Tokyo (Shinkansen) 8340 yen Tokyo - Aomori (Shinkansen) 17,670 yen Aomori - Hakodate (Shinkansen) 8160 yen Hakodate - Tokyo (Shinkansen) 23, 760 yen Tokyo - Fukuoka (Shinkansen) 22,220 yen Fukuoka - SIngapore (SQ) Plus all the other limited express, express and local JR trains in each area as applicable. Just based on the shinkansen trips above the total is 109,830 yen. I'm still out of pocket by 40, 170 yen. That works out to about $400 right? Still worth it to pay for the JR Pass or not? I mean there are many other parts at each area where I also take JR trains and they are mighty expensive too...
  5. To be unveiled in Japan in September 2022. Although it is sized between the HR-V and CR-V, but this new SUV will be replacing the CR-V in the Japanese Market, as they just announced the cease of CR-V production days before introducing this latest ZR-V. A strange move to me. For those of you who are follow motoring news closely, you may find that it look very familiar and that you have seen it somewhere. Well, the same model is available in the USA recently, but using the HR-V nameplate. Another head scratching decisions by Honda...
  6. Please hold tight to your chair before you scroll down for the images. ... Are you ready? ... Ok, be prepared, OK? Sadly, this is how the new Japanese Rojak will look like... Patent images obtained by Japanese magazines from the local trademark bureau show a new take on the Crown. It doesn’t seem to be wearing its distinctive badge, but we're being told this high-riding fastback will indeed be sold as a Crown. The somewhat odd shape should be familiar as the Citroën C5 X and China's Ford Evos have a similar body. Going back in time, we're getting hints of the defunct Honda Crosstour. The car featured here will reportedly go by the name of Crown Cross and should have the following dimensions: 4,930 mm long, 1,840 mm wide, and 1,540 mm tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2,850 mm. That would make it bigger in every dimension compared to the outgoing sedan, but with a slightly shorter wheelbase. Sources from the Land of the Rising Sun claim Toyota wants to sell the reinvented Crown with a four-cylinder 2.5-liter hybrid engine hooked out to a CVT. There also might be a turbocharged 2.4-liter with an electric motor and a six-speed automatic. It will sit on the TNGA-K platform and come with a choice between front- and all-wheel drive, with a plug-in hybrid option in the works. The official premiere is allegedly locked in for July 15. And I forgot to add, when I first saw its face, it is >90% like the Civic.
  7. If you have been dreaming of driving in Japan during your travel and want to start planning your vacation, you are lucky enough to chance upon this thread, and we hope by the end of this recommendation, you are equipped with tips and information about you Japan holidays! And we are currently selecting 50 participants that would like to attend! Join This Event! MCF HangOut proudly presents you with an all-new alternative of renting an almost brand new car in Japan. And to make the scenario more real, we narrowed down to Ishikawa Prefecture, 500km away from Tokyo, surrounded on three sides by the Sea of Japan, and on the fourth by Mt. Hakusan, allowing it to enjoy the best of both mountain and sea. Date: July 13, 2019, Saturday Time: 1pm – 4.30pm Venue: Singapore Recreation Club, B Connaught Drive, Singapore 179682 Registration Fee: $10 per registrant (Free goodie bag worth $50 for every registrant) Parking in available. Join This Event! About renting a car in Japan. You need to visit Ishikawa during the Autumn. Here's why. *Limited to 40 participants. Successful registrants will be contacted via phone or e-mail. Payment will be processed only if your registration is successful (payment must be made via Visa or Mastercard). Terms and Conditions There will be a registration fee of $10 once you have confirmed your attendance. The participating party agrees to pay the registration fee when they confirm their participation for the event. The Management of MCF will remunerate the registration fee in the form of $15 shopping voucher or grocery voucher during the event. Registration closes on 11 July 2019.
  8. This shall be my retirement ride, if the COE continues to remain at the current level. Anything higher, will go BMW liao. Five-Door Suzuki Jimny Spied Flaunting Its Longer Wheelbase The Suzuki Jimny is about to grow a bit bigger and gain an extra pair of doors to make the little SUV a bit more utilitarian. These spy shots catch one of them testing in Europe. Aesthetically, the five-door Jimny looks identical to the existing version, except for the lengthened body and extra doors. The spy photographer estimates that the wheelbase is about 300 millimeters longer than the existing 3 door variant. The width and height appear to be unchanged. Another interesting note from the photographer was that this vehicle seemed to be driving without producing any engine noise. This suggests that the Jimny might be getting a hybrid drive train. It's not clear whether the existing 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine making 100 horsepower (75 kilowatts) would continue to be available or whether this potentially electrically assisted setup would completely replace it. Switching to the turbocharged, mild-hybrid engine would give the Jimny improved emissions. This might rectify the current issue that limits the model's availability to a two-seat, commercial product in Europe. According to a rumor from Japan in 2021, Suzuki plans to call this model the Jimny Long, which fits with exactly what it is. The same report claims this version uses a turbocharged, mild-hybrid engine, which fits with what the photographer of this one is saying. For JDM models, price for the five-door would be about 300,000 yen more than the three-door unit. This Jimny Long, or whatever it final name is, is expected to be unveiled by end of this year, and become officially available from 2023. Stay tuned for more info.
  9. Patent images from Brazil registry. The front bonnet is exceptionally and unnecessarily long. Total waste of space (and material) in my opinion since the engine option is unlikely to be anything larger than an IL4 2.0 sump which will be transversely mount as usual. These spy shots give us a glimpse of how the actual car sis going to look like.
  10. After the Corolla Cross and new Crown, another iconic Toyota model has been SUV-nised... I seriously hope the trend will stop soon. @Toeknee_33what's your thought? Toyota announced the debut of an all-new model on September 6, which will be streamed live on YouTube from Tokyo, Japan. The automaker didn’t name the model but the official teaser photos showing portions of the front and rear suggest it will be the already-confirmed Century-branded SUV. Stay tuned for more updates. 🙂
  11. The spec for the PHEV look mouth watering. Dimensions 4,745 mm (L) 1,890 mm (W) 1,680 mm (H) 2,870 mm (WB) Engine 2.5L e-SkyActiv-G IL4 PHEV (323HP, 500Nm, 5.8 sec, 200Kmh) 3.0L e-SkyActiv-X IL6 mild hybrid 3.3L e-SkyActiv-D IL6 mild hybrid
  12. The MPV look gigantic in size (5 mm shy of 5 m from end to end), and finally available in 2.4L Turbo, producing a healthy 275 horsepower and 430 NM. Toyota has unveiled the fourth-generation Alphard alongside the Vellfire. These follow the recently introduced posh Lexus LM, a mechanically related vehicle based on the same TNGA-K platform. The twin are the first Toyota models to have steps on both left and right sliding doors, with a step emerging about 220 millimeters above ground. The boxy minivans are 4995 mm long and share a massive wheelbase stretching at 3000 mm. Both are 1850 mm wide while height depends on the model and trim level, either 1935 mm or 1945 mm. The Alphard and Vellfire can seat up to six people in a 2+2+2 layout with second-row captain's chairs. There's now an extra 5 mm between the first two rows and an additional 10 mm between the second and third rows. Both can be had with front- or all-wheel drive as well as a hybrid powertrain, with a plug-in hybrid setup to be added later. The most powerful of the bunch is a turbocharged 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine available in the Vellfire. "Tuned to deliver a sporty sound," it makes 275 hp (205 kilowatts) and 430 Newton-meters of torque. Customers can also pick a hybrid based on a 2.5-liter gasoline engine with a combined output of 250 hp (184 kW). Lesser Alphard models have a non-electrified, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter, four-cylinder unit with 180 hp (134 kW) and 235 NM. Depending on the engine, the minivans come with a CVT, an e-CVT, or an eight-speed automatic.
  13. Yes, the Fairlady Z is making a come back, after 12 years... Err @Jamesc are you one of the board of directors? You just mentioned the new Z days ago! One of the Nissan model I am eagerly anticipating (although sport car is not really my cup of tea), and hopefully it stick to the original sleek design in its early days. From the video, am I the only one to see hint of the 1st gen Fairlady Z?
  14. Enjoy!!! I think this MPV from Nissan. Coz Nissan and Suzuki make a deal of exchange supply programme :) Nice, but not sure CM will bring in?
  15. I don't know where to post this interesting news (no humsup intention), so I started the thread. Think of it, it is quite scary to guess if the model you are seeing is real or a AI generated fantasy. To our MCF mod, is it ok? Source: https://soranews24.com/2023/05/30/ai-generated-swimsuit-lingerie-model-makes-debut-in-japans-weekly-playboy-magazine【photos】/ “Ai” is a pretty common name for models in Japan, and not just because it’s short and easy to remember. In addition to being a woman’s name, ai is also the Japanese word for “love,” so the flowery, feminine feeling it conjures up is one more way to catch the attention and affection of prospective fans. For example, here’s Ai Satsuki, the newest model being promoted by Japanese publisher Shueisha. But while Ai’s name was given to her by Shueisha, the publisher didn’t make that decision just because they hope people will fall in love with her, but because her images are generated by AI. Ai made her professional debut this Monday, appearing in the latest issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Playboy magazine. A separate entity from the American Playboy magazine), Weekly Playboy is best known for its gravure photo spreads focusing on models in swimsuits, lingerie, and other revealing outfits. In its announcement tweet, Weekly Playboy describes Ai as being “stuffed full of men’s ideals” and asserts that “Even if she doesn’t actually exist, the love for her that sprouts in your heart is real.” Despite not having a physical form, Ai is officially listed as being 157 centimeters (61,8 inches) tall, as well as being born in Tokyo and enjoying playing video games as a hobby. Along with her appearance in this week’s Weekly Playboy, Shueisha has also released 50-page digital image album for Ai titled Umaretate (“Just Born”), featuring images not included in her Weekly Playboy spread, through its Weekly Playboy Gravure Japan website. “AI gravure models? What do you think?” asked Weekly Playboy in its tweet, prompting responses including: “No scandals. No scheduling problems. No talent agency problems. No appearance fees. Sounds good.” “I want Weekly Playboy to photograph real people.” “Eventually, I think people will come around to appreciating AI gravure models.” “She’s cute!” “I hope this is a one-time thing, and doesn’t take page space away from real gravure models.” “When are we going to see an Ai Satsuki video?” “She’s cute! Following her account and going to keep an eye on what she does next.” “If you put out a physical copy of her photo album, I’m buying it.” “Things are going to get tougher for 3-D women.” “AI gravure photos are beautiful, but I prefer real ones. Actual idols have daily lives and life experiences, and I think that’s what makes fans really feel attached to them and want to help them succeed.” The last comment touches on a characteristic point of gravure idol marketing in Japan: the idea that by purchasing merchandise, attending paid-ticket meet-and-greet events, and otherwise financially supporting their favorite idol, fans are actively supporting her professional aspirations. That unique sense of satisfaction plays a big part in cultivating high-spending superfans, and whether or not a photo-realistic but AI-generated model can form the same emotional connection may be the determining factor in whether or not Shueisha, and other publishers too, press forward with AI gravure models.
  16. For discussion.... Is this good news or bad news to Singapore .... Yahoo news: Japan slides into recession as tax hike takes toll TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter as housing and business investment declined following a tax hike, dragging the country into a recession and further clouding the outlook for the global economy. The world's third-largest economy contracted at a 1.6 percent pace in the July-September quarter, the government said Monday, contrary to predictions it would grow after a big drop the previous quarter. The surprise deepens uncertainty when China's growth is slowing and the 18-country eurozone grew only 0.2 percent in the same quarter. The gross domestic product figures showed across-the-board weakness in demand among consumers, manufacturers and builders. Many individuals and companies had spent money before the sales tax was hiked in April from 5 percent to 8 percent, and spending has languished since then. "The impact of the sales tax was much more severe than expected," said Junko Nishioka, an economist at RBS Japan Securities. Housing investment plunged 24 percent from the same quarter a year ago, while corporate capital investment sank 0.9 percent. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of the economy, edged up just 0.4 percent. The BOJ's move, along with a government decision to shift a large share of the public pension fund investments out of government bonds and into higher yielding but riskier shares, pushed Japan's share benchmark to seven-year highs this month. But in morning trading, the Nikkei 225 stock index tumbled 2.6 percent to 17,037.65. Monday's data is preliminary, with a revision due Dec. 8. Since some of the decline was due to reductions in inventory, things may not be as bad as the GDP reading suggests, economists said. Pierre Ellis, senior economist at Decision Economics in New York, said increased business orders in the past three months for machinery, industrial equipment and other big ticket items should boost output in the coming months. Abe already was expected to announce additional economic stimulus this week. The dismal Monday morning data will probably lead him to announce a package worth about 3 trillion yen to 4 trillion yen ($26 billion to $35 billion), Nishioka said. More of stories, link: https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/japan-says-economy-contracted-1-000844739--finance.html Good news is Japanese cars will be cheaper if Japan into recession and COE going down... Bad news is Japan is the World's third-largest economy can go into recession, will it affect SG also ......
  17. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Travel-Leisure/Tears-and-relief-as-Japan-fully-reopens-to-foreign-travelers?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20221011190000&seq_num=2&si=44594 Tears and relief as Japan fully reopens to foreign travellers Weak yen has tourism sector hopeful for a bonanza People arrive at Narita International Airport in Chiba prefecture on Oct. 11. (Photo by Mayumi Tsumita) RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writerOctober 11, 2022 17:18 JST TOKYO -- An elderly woman sat impatiently in her wheelchair in the arrival lobby of Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Tuesday morning. When her elder sister came in from a flight from Seoul, they hugged for the first time in three years in a long tearful embrace. The 76-year-old South Korean resident of Tokyo had been kept apart from her sibling by Japan's strict entry rules imposed at the onset of the pandemic. Their reunion will be just one example of a family reunited after Japan fully opened its borders on Tuesday. The country has resumed visa-free entry for individual travelers and has waived its entry cap of 50,000 per day. Travelers from most countries are exempt from quarantine and on-arrival COVID tests, although they still have to submit either a vaccine certificate or a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of departure. "We are finally here after so much waiting," said Markus Fruehwirth, a 29-year-old from Austria who will spend four weeks in Japan. He had to cancel his original plan of studying Japanese at a language school in April 2020. Fruehwirth said he plans to visit Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, and will go to hot springs and tourist spots such as Tokyo's Ghibli Museum. With many people still wearing masks in Japan even though it is not strictly required, Fruehwirth said: "I don't have a problem with wearing a mask if it's needed. I don't have any issue with that." Foreign visitors exchange money at Kansai International Airport on Oct. 11. (Photo by Arisa Moriyama) The number of international travelers between January and August this year stood at around 820,000, down 96% from the same period in 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. Karen Carl Morrison, a tourist from the U.S., said she would spend just five hours in Japan on Tuesday before flying back to the U.S. "Originally, we were going to come to Japan for three weeks, and we booked flights months ago," Morrison said. However, she couldn't get into Japan at that time and so changed her flights to spend time in Thailand and South Korea. "This is our last day. We're flying home. But we have five hours. ... We are very happy to be here for at least a little bit of time." She planned to visit a Don Quijote discount store, a popular tourist destination. The weak yen is acting as a tailwind, as it makes travel and spending in Japan cheaper. The Japanese currency is worth 145 per dollar, a steep fall from 115 yen at the start of the year. The travel industry has high hopes. In 2019, foreign travelers to Japan spent around 4.8 trillion yen ($33 billion), a record high for the seventh consecutive year. According to Airbnb, as of Sept. 23, the top places of residence of guests who searched for accommodations in Japan on its app were South Korea, the U.S., Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. The destinations most frequently searched for were Osaka, Tokyo, the Tokyo areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya, and Fukuoka. Some areas are already seeing a rebound in inbound business. Taiwan-based online travel startup KKday said the number of reservations for activities available in Japan between Sept. 1 and 30 increased by up to 20 times compared to the previous month. "For now, tourists tend to book activities in major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka," a representative told Nikkei Asia. But some businesses are still in wait-and-see mode. A representative for sightseeing bus operator Hato Bus told Nikkei Asia that the company is considering when to restart foreign-language tours, available in English and Chinese, which have been suspended since April 2020. People arriving at Kansai International Airport are welcomed by local government officials in ninja costumes on Oct. 11. (Photo by Arisa Moriyama) Although full reopening is giving a glimmer of hope to the travel industry, the rebound may be somewhat restricted, as travelers from China are unlikely to visit Japan anytime soon. The country shows no signs of easing its strict zero-COVID policy. In 2019, Chinese visitors accounted for 30% of tourist arrivals in Japan. "It will take time for the travel industry to recover fully," noted Wakaba Kobayashi, an economist at the Daiwa Institute of Research. Given the previous high ratio of Chinese tourists, "It will be difficult for Japan to achieve a similar reduction in the rate of decline in arrivals even if COVID border restrictions are relaxed to the level of other Group of Seven countries." Additional reporting by Kentaro Iwamoto.
  18. Another facelift, for a 6 year old model... The sensor activated sliding door look interesting, and will be good if it work as intended.
  19. Rumored to be fully unveiled (online) tomorrow. Basically, this RZ is a distance cousin of Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Sorella Solterra, sharing the same e-TNGA electric vehicle platform.
  20. https://www.straitstimes.com/business/masatoshi-ito-who-took-7-eleven-stores-global-dies-at-98 Masatoshi Ito, who took 7-Eleven stores global, dies at 98 Mr Masatoshi Ito died on March 10 due to old age, the company said in a statement on Monday. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG 13 Mar 2023, 5:05 pm SGT TOKYO - Mr Masatoshi Ito, the billionaire who expanded a small family-owned shop into one of Japan’s largest retailers and took 7-Eleven convenience stores global, has died. He was 98. Mr Ito died on March 10 due to old age, 7-Eleven operator Seven & i Holdings said in a statement on Monday, confirming earlier reports by local media. Although his Ito-Yokado stores, which offered one-stop shopping for things from groceries to everyday clothes, lost their lustre long ago, Mr Ito’s legacy continued in the 7-Eleven franchise. The company he founded, Ito-Yokado, was the predecessor of Seven & i Holdings. There are more than 83,000 7-Elevens dotting the globe, with about a fourth of them in Japan. Mr Ito was the company’s largest shareholder, amassing a net worth of US$5 billion (S$6.7 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Sometimes called the Sam Walton of Japan, Mr Ito was known for a decentralised business style that was influenced by his long friendship with famed management consultant Peter Drucker, who once described Mr Ito as “one of the world’s outstanding entrepreneurs and business builders”. Ito-Yokado traces its origin to the Yokado Clothing Store that Mr Ito’s uncle Toshio Yoshikawa opened in Asakusa, Tokyo, in 1920. Mr Ito’s half-brother Yuzuru took the lead in expanding the business but died in 1956, and Mr Ito took over. He later renamed it Ito-Yokado and took it public in 1972. The retailer continued to expand, including establishing Denny’s Japan, which brought the US-based casual restaurant chain to the country. A younger executive at Ito-Yokado, Mr Toshifumi Suzuki, discovered 7-Eleven during a visit to the United States to negotiate that deal. After forging a deal with US-based Southland Corp, then owner of the 7-Eleven chain, Mr Suzuki opened the first outlet in Japan in 1974. That business would eventually outgrow Ito-Yokado’s general merchandising segment; in 1991 the company acquired Southland’s equity. In 1992, Mr Ito resigned from his post at Ito-Yokado to take responsibility for alleged payments by company officials to three “yakuza” gangsters, to keep order at a shareholders’ meeting. Mr Suzuki succeeded Mr Ito as president, later becoming chairman and chief executive officer. He renamed the business Seven & i Holdings in 2005, and 7-Eleven Inc was made a wholly owned subsidiary. Mr Ito remained as honorary chairman of the parent company, with the “i” in the name referring to Ito-Yokado and his last name. On the urging of an activist shareholder, Seven & i is streamlining its business. In November, the retailer announced the sale of its Sogo & Seibu department stores for an enterprise value of about 250 billion yen (S$2.5 billion) to Fortress Investment Group. Last week, Seven & i said it will close roughly one out of every four of its Ito-Yokado stores in Japan. BLOOMBERG
  21. https://edition.cnn.com/2023/02/09/asia/japan-zoo-gibbon-pregnancy-mystery-intl-hnk/index.html A gibbon who lived alone in her cage had a baby. Japanese zookeepers finally know how By Xiaofei Xu, Philip Wang and Junko Ogura, CNN Updated 2:36 AM EST, Fri February 10, 2023 CNN — Japanese zookeepers believe they have solved the mystery of how a gibbon became pregnant despite living alone in her cage. Momo, a 12-year-old white-handed gibbon, shocked her keepers at the Kujukushima Zoo and Botanical Garden in Nagasaki in February 2021 when she gave birth despite having no male companionship. Now two years later, following a DNA test on her baby, the zoo has worked out who the father is – and even has a theory about how the gibbons mated. The test showed the father to be Itō, a 34-year-old agile gibbon, who was in an adjacent enclosure to Momo around the time she became pregnant. The zoo told CNN on Friday it believed that Momo and Itō had managed to mate through a small hole in a steel plate between their enclosures. The hole measured about 9 millimeters (0.3 inch) in diameter. Momo the gibbon and her baby at the Kujukushima Zoo. The baby ape – who is yet to be named – now weighs around 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) and is “growing healthily” under Momo’s loving attention, the zoo said. “It is a precious life born into the world, we will continue to take good care of him and hope that he will live a healthy long life,” said Hideki Hisano, deputy director of the zoo. Gibbons are among the smallest apes, but they have loud singing voices that have developed into an elaborate language, and can swing from branch to branch at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. There are dozens of gibbon species that are native to parts of Asia, ranging from northeastern India to China and all the way to the Borneo archipelago. The population of agile gibbons in the wild has been decreasing and they have been listed as an endangered species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, because their habitat is threatened by human activities such as deforestation, mining and road construction.
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