DAYTON, OH (July 23, 2012) – On Monday, July 30, 2012, the Honorable Kuninori Matsuda, Consul General of Japan, will join federal, state, county and local officials to launch the “Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project.” The kick-off event will take place at 1:15 p.m. on the plaza, east of the Montgomery County Administration Building, at 451 W. Third Street, Dayton, Ohio.
The “Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project” was developed by Alex Hara, a Japanese-born businessman living in Dayton. Hara was inspired to initiate the project after seeing the devastation to his homeland, Japan, following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that claimed almost 16,000 lives and left over 3,000 missing in March of 2011. The rescue, cleanup, and rebuilding effort has been massive, but thanks to the quick response of the United States military and the generosity of the American people, Japan is now on the rise again.
The goal of the “Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project” is to plant 1000 cherry trees in the Dayton area as a symbol of Japan’s deep gratitude for the overwhelming support of the American people throughout this disaster. It is also a commemorative celebration of the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of 3000 cherry trees to the United States in 1912 as a symbol of their then-growing friendship.
“Montgomery County is one of the many areas which cultivates and benefits from close economic relations between the U.S. and Japan,” said Consul Matsuda. “Within the county there are thirteen Japanese facilities, which employ approximately 1,900 local workers. In addition, the thriving aerospace-related businesses here are indicative of stronger economic relations yet to come between Japan and the United States. Three Dayton area universities, led by Wright State, offer Japanese language and studies courses which can assist future generations in building on the U.S. – Japan relationship.”
“Montgomery County is proud to host the kick-off of the ‘Operation 1000 Cherry Tree Project,” said Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge. “With this iconic addition to our County, the people of our entire region will see this as a mark of friendship and shared future.”
Trees will be planted at Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park and other area parks within six different communities bordering the City of Dayton. In addition, plans are underway for a significant planting at the proposed site of the Wright Brothers Monument at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 75.
Tax-deductible donations are being accepted by the Dayton Foundation through the Operation 1000 Cherry Tree’s website, www.operation1000cherrytrees.com. The website is available in both English and Japanese.
Honorable Kuninori Matsuda
Consulate General of Japan in Detroit
Public and Cultural Affairs
313-567-0120 (ext. 204)