Japanese Cherry Blossoms Adorn San Diego’s Waterfront
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Aired 3/29/12 on KPBS News.
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first gift of cherry trees from Japan to the U.S., the Port of San Diego is dedicating 15 cherry trees near the USS Midway Museum on Harbor Drive. They were a gift from the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles.
With a serenade of Japanese music, San Diego’s waterfront got a touch of pink today.
The Port of San Diego dedicated 15 cherry trees near the USS Midway Museum, a gift from the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles.
The dedication ceremony celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first gift of cherry trees from Japan to the United States.
Jun Niimi, the Consul General for Japan in Los Angeles, said these trees are a symbol of the close relationship between the two countries.
“As we water and nurture these trees, we are reminded to do the same with the Japan-U.S. relationship,” he said.
Niimi added that since his arrival in Los Angeles last October, he has seen this special connection personally.
“I have learned that Southern California and Japan share a very deep and special bond,” he said. “Here in San Diego we are connected through business, academics and sister cities and the friendship between the Japan Defense Force and the U.S. Navy.”
Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer said he speaks for San Diegans and welcomes the trees with open arms.
“Our city is closely tied with Japan. Yokohama is one of 15 sister cities to San Diego and these trees that you are offering will serve as a constant reminder of our friendship and our bond between our two great countries,” Faulconer said.
Niimi invited people to visit Japan to see its “revival and rebirth” following last year's tragic earthquake and tsunami.
Mayor Jerry Sanders proclaimed today Cherry Tree Centennial Day in San Diego.
Other cherry trees have been planted near the Yokohama Friendship Bell on Shelter Island.