Secretary Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Noda Announce Friendship Blossoms Initiative

April 30, 2012

At a dinner on April 30 hosted by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in honor of His Excellency Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, Secretary Clinton formally announced the launch of the Friendship Blossoms - Dogwood Tree Initiative. This initiative, a public-private partnership between the United States Department of State and the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, is a gift of 3,000 American dogwood trees from the people of the United States to the people of Japan.

The Friendship Blossoms Initiative commemorates the centennial anniversary of Japan's gift in 1912 of 3,000 cherry trees as a token of friendship between the two nations. In anticipation of the next 100 years of U.S.-Japan friendship, the United States will offer a gift of 3,000 American dogwood trees to the people of Japan. 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 U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, said, "The US-Japan Bridging Foundation is pleased to partner with the U.S. 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 U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, awards scholarships to U.S. 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.