In 1912, Tokyo gave the United States a gift of 3,000 cherry trees as a token of friendship between the two nations.  Over time, these beautiful trees have become an iconic symbol of our nation’s capital and a very visible reminder of the deep bond between the United States and Japan. Even though the average life-span of a cherry tree is 60 years, some of the original trees are still living today; they are an emblem of the longevity and strength of our bilateral relationship.

In commemoration of this gift, and in anticipation of the next 100 years of U.S. – Japan friendship, the people of the United States would like to express our gratitude by offering a gift of 3,000 dogwood trees to the people of Japan through the Friendship Blossoms Initiative.  These dogwood trees will be planted in Tokyo and all over Japan, including in the Tohoku region recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, as an enduring symbol of our friendship.  The first trees are expected to be planted in Tokyo in the fall of 2012; additional trees will be planted through 2015.  Ronald Anderson, Chairman of the US-Japan Bridging Foundation, declares, “The US-Japan Bridging Foundation is pleased to partner with the US Department of State and corporate sponsors in this project demonstrating the enduring relationship between Japan and the U.S.  We look forward to a prosperous future for our countries and the Friendship Blossoms Initiative.”

Corporations and other entities are invited to participate in this project to signify the extensive range and vitality of Japan and U.S. relations.  Corporate donations will support purchasing, shipping, planting and maintaining trees, as well as promote educational and cultural exchange.  We would like to thank Chevron, Coca-Cola, Federal Express and UPS for already pledging their support to this initiative.

The US-Japan Bridging Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, awards scholarships to US undergraduate students to study for one semester or academic year in Japan.  The Foundation grows global leaders to help prepare America’s young people to assume future leadership roles in business, education, international and public affairs and other professions.

White House Announces United States-Japan Cooperative Initiatives

Applauding the resounding success of events to celebrate the centennial of the historic gift of 3,000 cherry trees by Japan to Washington, D.C., in 1912, the President announced a reciprocal gift of 3,000 dogwood trees to Japan this year. These dogwood trees are to be planted in Tokyo and throughout Japan, including in areas recovering from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, as an enduring symbol of our friendship.  Read more