|THE JACL PARTICIPATES IN HISTORIC CHERRY BLOSSOM TREE PLANTING|
|March 31, 2012|
WASHINGTON —First lady Michelle Obama participated in a historic Centennial Tree Planting Ceremony honoring the 100th anniversary of the 1912 gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington D.C. The event concluded with a ceremonious planting of a Cherry Blossom tree.
Outgoing National JACL Executive Director Floyd Mori greets first lady Michelle Obama.
A group of community members in attendance — including the JACL National Executive Director Floyd Mori — watched as Mrs. Obama and six young students shoveled dirt around the 3-year-old tree. U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was present, alongside the Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. Ichiro Fujisaki and his wife, Yoriko. The program also involved the descendents of pivotal individuals who made this gift possible 100 years ago, including Fujiko Hara, the granddaughter of Mayor Ozaki who gifted the trees, and William H. Taft IV, the great-grandson of President Taft and his wife, Helen.
The ceremony was a huge success, especially for the Asian American Pacific Islander kids that the JACL helped coordinate to participate in the event. Through this historic planting, these young kids continued the legacy of the cherry blossoms that represent an ever-growing friendship between Japan and the U.S.