Japan gifts Washington 250 new sakura trees

Japan gifts Washington 250 new sakura treesJapan gifts Washington 250 new sakura trees
via CBS Sunday Morning (left), Associated Press (right)
Japan has pledged 250 cherry trees to the U.S. to replace those uprooted during the renovation of Washington’s Tidal Basin.
Key Points:
  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the gift during his state visit to the White House on April 10. 
  • The gesture marks the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the U.S. in 2026.
  • The new cherry trees will be planted around the Tidal Basin and near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
  • Cherry blossoms, also known as sakura in Japanese, are renowned for their pale pink or white petals that bloom during the springtime.
The details:
  • Prime Minister Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida arrived in Washington and attended a state dinner Wednesday night.  
  • Hundreds of aging cherry trees are being removed as part of a $133 million renovation to repair the Tidal Basin’s seawall.
  • Kishida said he decided to donate upon learning that over 100 cherry trees will be removed during the renovation.
  • President Joe Biden expressed gratitude for the gift and lauded the cherry trees as a symbol of the enduring U.S.-Japan relationship. “Like our friendship … these trees are timeless, inspiring and thriving,” he said at the ceremony. 
  • Thousands of cherry trees are currently planted at the National Mall in Washington. Japan first gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. in 1912, symbolizing the bond between the two countries. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual event celebrating the gesture, attracts over 1 million visitors to Washington, D.C.
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